COVID19: Resources and information

COVID-19 Buttons and Badges | CDCWhat you need to know about the COVID19 pandemic in Idaho. How it impacts renters and homeowners, fair housing rights and responsibilities, and where to find official information on keeping yourself, your family and your community safe during the pandemic.

We’re all in this together.

Idaho Housing and Finance Association , 565 W. Myrtle Street ...

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) has information for renters and owners using programs or services it administers.

 

The Intermountain Fair Housing Council has created an on-line informational resource for tenants impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn and layoffs. View their resource page here.

Idaho-based Gary E. Hanes and Associates is collecting links to COVID19 in multiple languages. View their resource page here.

International Rescue Committee - WikipediaThe International Rescue Committee (IRC) has prepared information on the COVID19 outbreak for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals. See their informational page here.

 

Office of Emergency ManagementIdaho’s Governor Brad Little declared a State of Extreme Emergency and issued a 21-day  Stay At Home Order, closing down all non-essential businesses and services to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Read more at the state’s official COVID19 page.

 

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is helping coordinate information and resource availability to respond to the CODIV19 outbreak. Homeless populations are among the most vulnerable to community spread and lack the ability to ‘stay at home.’ See their informational page here.

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition is also mobilizing resources and sharing strategies to address increasing housing challenges caused by the convergence of a historic housing crisis and the COVID19 pandemic. View their informational page here.

Lawsuit Alleges Disparate Impact in Hurricane Relief

Renters affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas are criticizing the recovery effort, saying that state and federal officials cut them out of $5 billion in aid and focused instead on homeowners.

“The suit accuses officials with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state General Land Office of ignoring the needs of renters in the Harvey recovery, and of steering the $5 billion in recovery programs to homeowners, developers and landlords.”

Click here to view full story

Forum partners welcome HUD training

Boise City Council member Lisa Sanchez welcomed a roomful of housing providers, city and state staff, and local nonprofits on April 26 to a fair housing workshop presented by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Attendance was estimated at well over 200, with in-person and individuals watching via webcast throughout Idaho. This is the last workshop during April, where many different groups recognized the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Fair Housing Act.


Featured presenter: HUD’s Kristina Miller, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

HUD’s Deputy Northwest Regional Administrator Michael Look kicked off the day by thanking attendees for their time and interest before outlining the history and meaning of the Fair Housing Act, its roots in the U.S. Constitution, and acknowledging those who made it possible. He introduced HUD’s last remaining Idaho field office representative, Senior Management Analyst Brian Dale

HUD reps Kristina Miller, Brian Dale, and Michael Look

Mr. Look emphasized that the economic opportunities made possible through housing choice and mobility go beyond the typical civil rights focus of fair housing. Where we live determines our access to essential community services, social capital and basic amenities. He acknowledged the rights and challenges of housing providers, and his hope that through ongoing training and greater awareness, they could all take steps to avoid violations and associated costs.*

Kristina Miller with the Seattle Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity conducted the day’s training, starting with an overview of fair housing basics, protected classes, prohibited actions , disparate impact and the three-step analysis of policies or practices to determine compliance. She also outlined seven fair housing design and construction standards, and the importance of accommodating our aging population—which applies to everyone.

The main point of fair housing is ‘equal access’ for all.

She also touched on recent HUD guidance on criminal history; that is, if the property involved is covered under the Fair Housing Act, they must maintain and follow a clear criminal background policy that otherwise treats all protected classes the same consideration. A *three-step analysis determines whether a policy has discriminatory effect:

  1. Does the policy result in a discriminatory effect on members of a protected class?
  2. Does the policy achieve a specific, legitimate nondisriminatory interest to the provider?
  3. If yes to #2, is there a less discriminatory alternative to achieve the same effect?

Unjustifiable policies

  • A blanket ban on criminal activity or an arrest record; unless there is a conviction, anyone could be banned without legitimate cause, thus it would be unjustifiable.
  • A blanket ban on all convictions that fails to differentiate between a legitimate threat to life, safety or property or no threat may also be unjustifiable.

View or download the presentation as a .pdf — Fair-Housing-Act-for-4-26-18-presentations

Check back for links to the webcast version.

Everyone wants a bag like Brian’s vintage FHF tote! We’ll get some made and let you how to get yours.

Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

Recent investigative reporting by ProPublica reveals that Facebook continues to allow discriminatory housing ads—long after the practice was exposed—and after Facebook executives vowed to correct those clear violation of the Fair Housing Act.

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force.

An excerpt of the article follows:

“Last week, ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads on Facebook, but asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americansmothers of high school kids, people interested in wheelchair rampsJewsexpats from Argentina and Spanish speakers.

All of these groups are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to publish any advertisement “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Every single ad was approved within minutes.”

This was despite Facebook’s own policy. View the process ProPublica used to test that policy.

See the full article here.

And for those looking for an ADA-compliant, multilingual rental listing and locator option, see www.housingidaho.com