Grant Administration: Section 4.2 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)All recipients of federal funds must assure that they do not discriminate or permit others to discriminate in provision of housing for every individual regardless of:
- National Origin
- Familial Status
- Age *
* The Age Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Additionally, this list of protected classes has been expanded via HUD regulations and notices to include sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as persons who use service or support animals. Additionally, New Hampshire state law adds age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status to the list of protected classes within the state. Every grantee must promote fair housing practices within its jurisdiction for anyone within these protected classes.
The New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights is a state agency established for the purpose of eliminating discrimination in employment, public accommodations and the sale or rental of housing or commercial property, because of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, physical or mental disability or national origin. The commission has the power to receive and investigate complaints of illegal discrimination. Grantees can consider coordinating their work to address discrimination with this state agency.
Going beyond prohibitions of discrimination, receipt of HUD funds requires that grantees affirmatively further fair housing. While there are many ways that grantees can promote fair housing practices, the following guidelines have been adopted by CDFA:
Step 1: Impediments to Fair Housing
Grantees are not required to perform their own Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing but may use the analysis performed by New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA), a project partner, or by an adjacent entitlement community. The current AI can be found on the NHHFA’s website. These documents are useful to help determine actions in Step 3. Attachement 4-4 Analysis of Impediments
Step 2: Develop a Fair Housing Resolution
The grantee should work with its local solicitor to develop a Fair Housing Resolution. A sample resolution that also designates a local Fair Housing Officer has been provided as Attachment 4-5: Sample Fair Housing Resolution. The Fair Housing Resolution must be formally adopted by the grantee and retained with each CDBG project file. If the grantee has multiple CDBG grants with overlapping timeframes, a separate overall file should be maintained for fair housing.
Step 3: Implement Fair Housing Activity
Each grantee must select and implement one Fair Housing Activity for each year that a grantee receives a grant award. If a grantee receives multiple grants in the same year, only one activity is required. If a grantee receives grant awards in sequential or nearly sequential years, the Fair Housing Activity selected by the grantee must be a different one each program year. Grantees must complete a Fair Housing Activity even if their projects do not entail housing activities. The AI may provide guidance and insight to grantees in the selection of their Fair Housing Activities. Attachment 4-6 provides Sample Fair Housing Activities. Attachment 4-6 Sample Fair Housing Activities
Fair Housing Activities must be sufficiently documented, including records on funds provided, if any for such activities, so their completion can be verified during CDFA’s compliance review. Accepted documentation would include copies of brochures provided, along with a distribution list, or minutes of meetings where fair housing is discussed. The grantee must complete the Fair Housing Activity Certification provided as Attachment 4-7 confirming the implementation of Fair Housing Activities. Attachment 4-7 Fair Housing Activity Certification
Step 4: Display the Applicable Fair Housing Logo and Required Posters
The grantee and its grant administrator are responsible for placing the applicable fair housing posters in conspicuous locations of public buildings, including municipal offices, and the posters must always be displayed at the job site. The required fair housing posters may be found on the HUD website. See Attachment 4-8. Other posters required for Equal Employment Opportunity are described in Section 4.3 of this chapter. Attachment 4-8 Fair Housing Posters
All housing-related notices, advertising, and brochures must include the fair housing logo. CDFA also recommends that the logo be displayed on all municipal stationary.
Grantees must post the following documentation at the town/city hall in a prominent place for viewing by the general public:
- Civil Rights Act Title VI Certification
- Fair Housing Policy Statement with Discrimination Complaint Procedure (Local Resolution)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Notice
- ADA Grievance Procedure
- Fair Housing Posters in both English and Spanish.
- Equal Employment Opportunity posters in both English and Spanish
Notices and posters may need to be provided in additional languages. See Section 4.5 on Limited English Proficiency in this chapter.
Step 5: Contract Provisions
Include provisions for non-discrimination in all contracts issued to all recipients of CDBG funds, including businessmen, developers, contractors, and homeowners. Contractors should include non-discrimination language in any subcontract issued for a CDBG project as well. A grantee should keep a copy of such provisions in its project file, along with any additional information documenting its own compliance. See Chapter 7: Procurement.
Step 6: Affirmative Marketing Plans
Affirmative marketing plans must be developed and implemented for all CDBG-assisted housing with five or more units. An affirmative marketing plan must include:
- Methods for informing the public, property owners, and potential tenants about fair housing laws and the municipalities’ policies (for example, use of the fair housing logo or equal opportunity language);
- Description of what owners and/or the grantee/sub-recipient will do to affirmatively market housing assisted with CDBG funds;
- Description of what property owners and/or the grantee/sub-recipient will do to inform persons not likely to apply for housing without special outreach;
- Maintenance of records to document actions taken to affirmatively market CDBG-assisted units and to assess marketing effectiveness; and
- Description of how efforts will be assessed and what corrective actions will be taken where requirements are not met.
Grantees and local administrators should assist municipal officials to become thoroughly familiar with the Fair Housing Activity undertaken, Fair Housing Resolution, and other fair housing provisions since the municipality is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the municipality complies with fair housing requirements. Failure to do so can result in the grantee being ineligible to apply for a grant in the future. Grantees may enlist public participation in carrying out the Fair Housing Activity and post information so that it is made available to the general public.
The grantee must pledge to carry out the Fair Housing Activity to overcome the identified impediments to fair housing choice. Too often, municipalities have made statements in contract assurances that they will fight housing discrimination but in actuality have done nothing to overcome housing discrimination or segregation in their communities.
For more information, please see the HUD Fair Housing Planning Guide. This document is a useful resource in understanding fair housing law and requirements. HUD Fair Housing Planning Guide