Affirmitively Furthering Fair Housing - October 04, 2011

What is your role in affirmatively furthering fair housing?  Many people don’t know what it means to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH).  The Department of Housing and Urban Development says it involves analyzing local laws, practices, and policies, as well as identifying any obstacles people may face in obtaining, enjoying, and maintaining their housing.  HUD also looks at the choices available, and the condition of both private, and public housing.  The goal of AFFH is to remove any obstacles people face.  There are eight prohibited practices according to the Fair Housing Act:

  1. Refusing to rent or sell or to negotiate for the rental or sale of a dwelling
  2.  Subjecting persons to different terms, conditions and privileges
  3. Limiting housing choice by word or conduct
  4. Otherwise make housing unavailable
  5. Misrepresenting the availability of a dwelling
  6. Making, printing or publishing discriminatory ads, notices or statements
  7. Discriminating on the basis of disability
  8. Retaliation

The Fair Housing Act assumes that the persons are otherwise qualified to do business. This means that if someone has met the income and credit requirements as well as passing the background check (and/or other legitimate business requirements a property may have), what reason is there NOT to do business?  If the reason is even partially based on one of the protected characteristics, it could be a violation of Fair Housing Law.  It is also important to mention most people are born with 4 if not 5 of the protected characteristics, which are: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and families with children.  So what is your role in AFFH?  If you find that yours, or others rights have been violated, or you have suspicions or questions, document it, and contact us for support.  We are here to be a resource for you.  Please visit us online at www.swfhc.com