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.
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
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:
- Does the policy result in a discriminatory effect on members of a protected class?
- Does the policy achieve a specific, legitimate nondisriminatory interest to the provider?
- If yes to #2, is there a less discriminatory alternative to achieve the same effect?
- 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.
You are invited to review the draft Idaho Transportation Plan and share ideas that will help shape your community and future developments. See more details here.
Each of the Idaho Transportation Department’s six districts will feature an open house to review the DRAFT version of the statewide Public Transportation Plan. This plan address public transportation in Idaho and sets goals and strategies for the next five years for the Idaho Transportation Department’s Public Transportation Office as well as the public transportation providers.
Contact: 208-334-8822 or
With 165 confirmed participants in the Boise City Council Chambers—and dozens more following via webcast—we’re very happy with the attendance for this year’s Design and Construction Training. We want to thank the City of Boise and our Fair Housing Forum partners around Idaho for helping us deliver this important training to those who can use it.
The Boise venue drew a large percentage of architects, with additional representation from the building and development industry, and even a civil engineer!
Trainer Doug Anderson with LCM Architects brings decades of experience relative to the creation and implementation of Fair Housing and Access regulations. Prior to his work with LCM, Doug served on the U.S. Access Board, the federal agency responsible for developing guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) from 2003 to 2011. He chaired the Board from 2009 to 2010.
The Idaho training is one of ten nationwide events sponsored by HUD during Spring of 2017, and organized by Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST, an initiative promoting compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. The program offers comprehensive and detailed instruction programs, useful online web resources, and a toll-free information line for technical guidance and support.
- For more information or to view and download resources and training materials, visit fairhousingfirst.org
- For information on accessible/visitable single-family construction, see Inclusive Design Gets Customers in the Door.
- For information on the importance of access in retail and business sectors, visit Ramp Up Idaho.
- And for general resources, articles and presentations related to housing access, cost and policy, see the Housing Toolbox for Western Policy Makers (Mostly Idaho).