Virtual Rural Conference Oct. 14, 15

The Partners for Rural America and Idaho Rural Partnership are hosting the virtual 2021 Rural Conference October 14, 15. Both groups largely focus on rural housing, economic and community development and have been focused on pandemic response and recovery for rural economies.

Fair housing partners are encouraged to participate to learn more about issues specific to rural communities.


  • Thursday, October 14 and Friday, October 15
  • 9am to 1pm MDT (both days)


  • $15 through Friday, October 8
  • $25 after Friday, October 8

Focus areas

Rural practitioners and representatives from over a dozen states will come together to present plenary sessions on the following topics:

  • Rural population and growth trends
  • Broadband and the digital economy
  • Housing challenges and solutions
  • Rural recovery and resiliency
  • Community engagement and leadership development

Housing Toolbox for Western Policymakers (Mostly Idaho)

(Created for housing and community stakeholders by Erik Kingston, PCED, IHFA’s Housing Resources Coordinator | Links to presentations below)

Expanding housing choices has benefits far beyond fair housing compliance; housing diversity is equally important for community and economic development strategies. Housing types and price points that reflect the needs and means of community residents support a more stable labor force and educational system, reduce social costs of poverty, and lead to economic prosperity.

Conversely, housing speculation and inflation that drive prices up and tenants out create externalized costs that are shifted to local taxpayers, employers and communities. This represents a significant public subsidy to private equity.

Housing that is affordable to a range of incomes serves as a perpetual wage subsidy to local employers.

Housing can be made affordable either by increasing wages or reducing the net costs of housing, which are often influenced by transportation, energy, land, construction, regulatory and financing factors. In some rural Idaho communities, workers must often commute long distances to find housing within their budget, while the cost to heat or cool inefficient housing can exceed rent. So we created the ‘T.R.U.V. (Transportation + Rent + Utilities +Visitability) Index’ to hint at real-world cost considerations.

We hope to update and expand these resources to be more useful to local and state policy makers and housing stakeholders. This data can help inform a larger statewide housing needs assessment and resource allocation process. See also “What Every City and County Needs to Know’ for additional information from the 2011 Analysis of Impediments.

Assessing Housing Markets Needs

County data sets for demographics, poverty and housing/transportation cost burden.

*The contractor for the 2014 version based ‘cost-burden’ data on the American Community Survey, while the contractor for the 2018 release used cost-burden estimates from HAMFI and CHAS data, a subset of the ACS estimate.

Other online housing resources

Idaho Analysis of Impediments / Assessment of Fair Housing

U.S. housing market: impressions, impacts and implications

Housing Market Challenges

Affordability matters

Housing and Transportation: location-based costs

Tiny Houses and Personal Shelters: implications and opportunities for housing, planning and economic development professionals


2022 Presentations

2021 Presentations

2020 Presentations

Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute

Public Subsidy to Private Equity: Measuring the Social Costs of Housing Speculation

Small Towns, Big Change: Civic Engagement and Rural Resilience | WeCAN team

APA Idaho Chapter

2019 Presentations

10/2019 APA Idaho Chapter – Twin Falls, ID

The Rural Housing & Homelessness Puzzle

Twilight Zoning

7/2019 NW Community Development Institute

2019 Housing as a Second Language

6/2019 Association of Idaho Cities

Housing and Community_Planning for the Future

21st Century Barnraising: Community crowd investing

Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute

Housing and Community_Designing for the Future

2017 Presentations

10/2017 Idaho Chapter/APA Conference Presentations

Ghost Cities

Sandpoint Short Term Rentals

Links to resources:

2017 NW Community Development Institute

Housing as a Second Language (2017 update)

Related stories and links

2017 Association of Idaho Cities Conference

Housing Markets: Essential Trends and Strategies

2016 Materials

10/2016 Idaho Chapter/APA Conference Presentations

Next Steps for Small-Footprint Housing


Communities for Life: Aging-in-Place


The Changing Face of Fair Housing: Assessment of Fair Housing


Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (presentation by BBC Research and Consulting)

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

2016 NW CDI Course—Third Year: Housing as a Second Language

2015 Presentations

What Every County and City Needs to Know

If you or your unit of local government receive or administer certain types of federal funding, you need to understand the implications of various federal laws, such as the Fair Housing Act, ADA, Section 504, Section 3, etc. Failure to understand these requirements can lead to unintentional violations and significant liability for professional staff and elected officials, and the for the taxpayers they represent.

The information provided here is merely a starting point; it is critical that each unit of local government conduct a thorough analysis of its policies and procedures along with relevant laws and regulations, and seek professional counsel skilled in Civil Rights Defense and related laws.

Planning implications. It is highly recommended that housing providers and public entities pursue training whenever possible. See “Fair Housing Gets More Serious,” a presentation by Don Elliott, FAICP (Director at Clarion Associates) at Boise’s City Hall on February 3, 2015. Click here to view the video. See also the April 15th, 2015 fair housing conference and training for another example of recent training events held in Idaho.

Please proceed only after reviewing and agreeing to the Waiver of Liability above.

Please note. Information and findings contained in the 2011 Analysis of Impediments represent a point-in-time survey and analysis; individual counties may have subsequently modified policies and procedures, and individual cities or communities may have policies and procedures that differ substantially from their surrounding county. Data collected is only as accurate as the source material; errors or inconsistencies may be present and will be corrected as they are brought to the attention of the AI consultant.

NEW! Webcast / Housing and Takings: A Look at the U.S. Supreme Court’s Inclusive Communities Project and Horne Decisions

Below are links to sample documents for initial review, and official HUD materials for guidance:

  1. Fair housing compliance_local government considerations (read this first)
  2. Excerpt from 2011 AI_Land-Use Regulations and County Summaries (Please review this section for two reasons: first, to verify that the data supplied for your county is accurate as of the 1st Quarter of 2011; and second, to understand the land-use and zoning considerations that influence housing affordability and (indirectly) housing choice for all protected classes. Please report any discrepencies in housing data to erikk @ or dennis.porter @
  3. 2011 Analysis of Impediments (draft for review and comment)
  4. 2017 Assessment of Fair Housing (2017 AFH)
  5. Fair Housing Planning Guide
  6. HUD/FHEO pages

Boise County, ID In Alamar Ranch LLC v. Boise County, a 2010 court ruling involving a residential treatment facility resulted in a $4 million judgment (not counting legal costs) against Boise County, Idaho. County officials believed they were following standard procedures when reviewing the project application, responding to public testimony from constituents and ultimately granting permits. The plaintiff’s legal team persuaded the court that the net effect of the process constituted discrimination based on disability. Many feel the outcome might have been different with a more complete understanding of fair housing law at the outset. In November, 2011, Judge Lynn Winmill ordered Boise County to levy a tax on its property owners to repay the estimated $5.4M resulting from the court case.

Westchester County, NY Many housing/community development and planning professionals are aware of the Westchester County decision, a recent landmark case involving fair housing and ‘disparate impact’ but filed under the False Claims Act. This case involved a complaint against the county and alleged that HUD funds were being administered in a manner that did not ‘affirmatively further fair housing’ as county and other officials attested to when receiving and distributing those finds. Michael Allen was one of the lead plaintiff’s attorneys in the Westchester County case. He was the featured speaker at the 2010 Fair Housing Conference in Boise, Idaho. Mr. Allen’s travel costs for the 2010 conference were sponsored by the Intermountain Fair Housing Council, a private testing and enforcement contractor based in Idaho.

Select the following link to view Mr. Allen’s clear and informative presentation to the Emory School of Law about the Westchester case.

See also:

Housing: Foundation of Community and Economic Success

Searching for Opportunity Rich Neighborhoods