Fair Housing Means Access and Accommodation

The June 22, 2021 Fair Housing webinar focused on fair housing considerations for people with disabilities. Several key stakeholders involved in disability rights and advocacy participated in the discussion of fair housing protections in light of the current housing crisis, which impacts people with disabilities and other protected classes much harder that it does the general population.

One question came up in the follow-up discussion:

What is the statute of limitations on filing a fair housing complaint? HUD’s position:

FHEO begins its complaint investigation process shortly after receiving a complaint. You must file your complaint within one year of the last date of the alleged discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. Other civil rights authorities allow for complaints to be filed after one year for good cause, but FHEO recommends filing as soon as possible.

The group agreed that those in the areas of housing and community development would benefit from a more inclusive planning and design process that engages people with disabilities to inform strategies that make communities more livable and affordable to everyone.

Links to session materials and referenced resources:

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.

IHFA Creates Fair Housing Video Series

Red logo banner with colorful and diverse profiles on the left facing right toward the text 'Know Your Right! The Fair Housing Act Protects All of Us?

As part of a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program – Education Outreach Initiative grant, the Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) has created a series of four videos that outline rights and opportunities guaranteed by the federal Fair Housing Act. While fair housing law and protections are broad in scope, these videos aim to present basic information and encourage individuals to better understand and assert their rights in pursuit of economic and social opportunities, freedom from discrimination and options to report violations.

Videos are available for viewing and sharing via social media at the links below:

Thanks to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the support of this effort. Ensuring the right of every person to live where we choose and can afford requires constant attention and cooperation. We all play a role in fair housing.

Acknowledgement/disclaimer. The work that provided the basis for these products 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 authors and publishers 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.