Why fair housing matters to…

As part of a Fair Housing Innovative Partnership – Education Outreach Initiative (FHIP-EOI) grant, the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) created a series of first-person videos to understand how fair housing impacts all people. The idea was to interview individuals protected by fair housing laws, as well as employers, economists, developers, housing providers, planners and advocates.

These videos are available for sharing via social media, and provide first-hand, unscripted perspectives of real Idahoans and experts in several fields.

Most Americans understand the Fair Housing Act as landmark Civil Rights legislation prohibiting housing discrimination against members of protected classes and requiring reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. Increasingly, research shows overall economic and social benefits made possible through more diverse communities, and economic opportunities created through housing choice—the right to live where we choose and can afford.

Economic opportunity depends on several factors made possible through fair housing choice, including access to essential community resources like employment, education, social services, recreation and transportation. At a very basic level, housing choice lets us build social capital—the network of trusted relationships and connections that can lead to better jobs, child care, and civic engagement.

As several interviewees point out, the social diversity made possible through fair housing is essential to a more diverse and resilient economy. Members of protected classes bring fresh perspective, ideas and energy that can boost productivity and efficiency; they become economic producers and entrepreneurs who create jobs. At the same time, they are consumers helping drive demand for more diverse products and services, which also creates additional employment opportunities. All of this generates economic energy and demand for taxable goods and services.

As author Jim Tankersley (The Riches of This Land: The Untold, True History of America’s Middle Class) sums it up,

…if you could give me one thing to do to supercharge the economy, I would say, end discrimination across the American economy. Discrimination is holding back our economy. It’s holding back our middle class.

Please take a few moments to explore these first-person videos to understand the importance fair housing through a different lens, and help spread the word by sharing them with others.

Spanish-language interviews | En Español

Idaho Fair Housing Month Activities

“Fair Housing Month is a time to recommit to our nation’s obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to safe, affordable housing,” —HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge.

Idaho Fair Housing Forum members have long coordinated training and special events during Fair Housing Month, and 2021 is no different!

April 5 – Racism in Land Use discussing history, maps and redlining, restrictive deeds and CC&Rs, and FHA protections (hosted by the University of Idaho and the Intermountain Fair Housing Council). Learn more or register here.

April 6 – Basics of Fair Housing.* Attorney David Penny with Tomlinson & Associates provides an overview of the Fair Act and its implications for housing professionals in this online, 75-minute presentation.

April 13 – Fair Housing: Real Estate Focus.* Attorney David Penny with Tomlinson & Associates presents fair housing information for Real Estate Professionals in this online, 75-minute presentation.

April 20 – Fair Housing for Transitional Housing and Shelter Providers.* Attorney Eric Steven of Eric Steven Law Office in Spokane describes the unique challenges and best practices for those assisting unhoused populations.

April 27 – Limited English Proficiency Basics for Federally Assisted Programs and Services.* Gary Hanes of Gary E. Hanes & Associates, LLC will outline what managers of federally assisted programs—particularly assisted housing—should consider as they work to address clients, tenants or stakeholders with limited English proficiency, or LEP.


View IHFA’s 2021 Fair Housing Videos here.*

Request IHFA Fair Housing Outreach Materials here.*

See HUD’s 2021 Fair Housing Month statements here.

*The work that provided the basis for these publications and training was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.

Spring 2021 Fair Housing Training

Thanks to a FHIP-EOI Grant from HUD, IHFA is hosting a series on Fair Housing aimed at housing providers and professionals. The first two Spring 2021 sessions are described as Intermediate-level content for those with a basic understanding of fair housing essentials.

It is strongly recommended that you attend a Fair Housing Basics Event prior to the Intermediate sessions, or you can click here to watch this HUD-produced Fair Housing Basics video training by Kristina Miller.

The third session is an open format to offer participants a chance to explore specific questions or situations.

Session Recordings (posted after session completion)

  • March 16, 2021 | Intermediate Session 2 video | Chat file
  • March 23, 2021 | Advanced Q&A video | Chat file

Session Materials

More sessions scheduled for April, 2021 (w Tomlinson Associates Attorney David Penny)

  • April 6, 2021 | Fair Housing Basics for Housing Professionals
  • April 13, 2021 | Fair Housing Basics for Housing Professionals
  • April 20, 2021 | Fair Housing for Transitional Housing and Shelter Providers

Follow us on Twitter @FairHouseForum or Facebook Idaho Fair Housing Forum

Check out our Fair Housing video series in English and Spanish and visit idahohousing.com/fair-housing

Neighbor-on-neighbor hate crimes violate Fair Housing Act

Indiana Man Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime for Making Racially Motivated Threats Toward Black Neighbor and to Unlawful Possession of Firearms

Many people assume the Fair Housing Act only applies to situations involving landlord/tenant interactions or the sale, purchase or advertising of housing. But the Act also applies in cases of tenant-on-tenant or neighbor-on-neighbor harassment.

Shepherd Hoehn, 51, plead guilty to “criminal interference with housing rights and a weapons charge” (firearms possession while a habitual user of marijuana is illegal under Indiana and federal law). Hoehn made threats based on race to intimidate his neighbor and to intimidate someone exercising his right to fair housing in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3631. The guilty plea is the latest action in the case since the FBI exercised a federal search warrant on Hoehn’s property on July 1, 2020.

“Hoehn’ s hateful and threatening conduct, motivated by racial intolerance, is an egregious crime that will not be tolerated by the Justice Department,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pam Karlan of the Civil Rights Division. “Every person has a right to occupy, enjoy and feel safe in their homes, regardless of race, color or national origin. We will continue to protect the civil rights of all individuals and vigorously prosecute hate crime cases.”

Hoehn was found guilty of displays intended to intimidate and threaten his neighbor, including a cross burning; placing Nazi symbolism and threatening racial slurs on his fence, blasting racially charged music toward the neighbor’s home, and pelting the neighbor’s home with eggs.

“Hoehn’s sentencing date has not been set at this time. Hoehn faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the charged offenses.”

Read more here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/indiana-man-pleads-guilty-hate-crime-making-racially-charged-motivated-threats-toward-black