April is Fair Housing Month: What CDBG Grantees Need to Know

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community development


April 11, 2019

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April is Fair Housing Month

CDBG encourages grantees to get involved in fair housing initiatives in their community

April is Fair Housing Month, at both the state and national level, making it a great time to share information regarding fair housing.

At its core, fair housing refers to the right of an individual to live wherever their means allow. Let’s dive a little deeper with a couple definitions:

  • Fair housing prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, purchase, leasing, financing and/or advertising of housing.
  • Fair housing choice means that all persons have the same access to housing choices regardless of age, marital status, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status.

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, requires that anyone receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including states and Units of General Local Governments (UGLGs), which is another name for a city, county, town, parish or village, engage in activities that affirmatively further fair housing.

Equal Housing Opportunity

What is AFFH?

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) is HUD’s way of helping communities provide equality in housing. Specifically, AFFH means taking meaningful actions that address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, including:

  • Replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns
  • Transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity
  • Fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws

The duty to affirmatively further fair housing extends to all program participants' activities and generally takes form in complying with, promoting, and publicizing fair housing and civil rights laws.   

AFFH Requirements

UGLGs receiving any Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, regardless of award or project type, must develop a method for documenting efforts to promote and monitor fair housing activities. UGLGs must also perform the following program requirements:  

  1. Adopt a fair housing ordinance or certification
  2. Create a fair housing plan to identify at least one additional activity the UGLG will undertake to further fair housing
  3. Develop a fair housing complaint process

Fair Housing Awareness Ribbon

How to Engage in Furthering Fair Housing

Following are a few examples of how an UGLG may engage in activities to affirmatively further fair housing. The listed suggestions and materials are not mandatory; they are simply examples.

Printed Materials – An UGLG may publish, distribute and post these materials in a public location and/or share them on its social media streams

Informational Videos – An UGLG may share these videos, including on its social media streams.

Additional Fair Housing Resources

Governor Whitmer Fair Housing Month Proclamation

Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Housing

Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR)

HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO)

Upcoming Fair Housing Events

April 25: 32nd Annual Luncheon and Workshop Series - Grand Rapids, MI

April 26: Fair Housing Conference: Fair Housing Crisis - Kalamazoo, MI

April 29 - May 1: 2019 Building Michigan Communities Conference - Lansing, MI

Calendar of Events

Contact Us

For more information about MEDC's Community Development Block Grant program visit, miplace.org.