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FHEO Compliance Reviews and Hot Fair Housing Topics.

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Presentation on theme: "FHEO Compliance Reviews and Hot Fair Housing Topics."— Presentation transcript:

1 FHEO Compliance Reviews and Hot Fair Housing Topics

2 How are housing providers selected? Housing providers are selected for civil rights compliance reviews based on various data including: history of complaints. size and nature of the housing program. date of last compliance review funding level, etc.

3 Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex and religion in activities receiving federal financial assistance.

4 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance from HUD.

5 Section 109 & Title VI compliance review topics Nondiscrimination notices Community outreach Application intake Tenant selection Housing services and conditions (e.g., maintenance, transfers, evictions) Limited English Proficiency

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7 LEP (limited English proficient) persons are persons who, as a result of national origin, do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to speak, read, write, or understand English.

8 National Origin Discrimination Failure to ensure LEP persons can effectively participate in, or benefit from, federally assisted programs and activities, may violate the national origin discrimination prohibition under Title VI and its implementing regulations.

9 4-Factor Analysis Cont. Factor #1: Number or proportion of LEP persons served or encountered. Factor #2: Frequency of Contacts with LEP persons. Factor #3: Nature and importance of the program, activity, or service provided. Factor #4: Resources available and costs to the recipient.

10 Language Access Plan (LAP) After conducting the 4-Factor Analysis, the housing provider would develop (LAP) or Implementation Plan to address identified needs of the LEP populations it serves.

11 Developing a Language Access Plan (LAP) Identifying ways in which language assistance will be provided. (Interpreters, written information, etc.) Ensuring staff is trained on providing LEP assistance. Notifying LEP persons that language services are available and free of charge.

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13 Oral Interpretation No matter how few LEP persons the housing provider is serving, oral interpretation services should be made available in some form. Depending on the circumstances, reasonable oral interpretation assistance might be an in-person or telephone service line interpreter. Quality and accuracy is critical in order to avoid serious consequences to the LEP person and to the housing provider.

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15 Written Translation Many LEP persons may not be able to read their native languages; recipients may need to have back-up oral interpretation available. Interpreting and translating require different skills; a competent interpreter may or may not be competent to translate.

16 “Safe Harbor” Recipient provides written translations of vital documents for each eligible LEP language that constitutes 5% or 1,000 individuals, whichever is less, of the population of persons eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered. Translation of other documents can be provided orally.

17 Determining Compliance HUD will determine when the recipient has made reasonable efforts to ensure participation of LEP persons in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance from HUD. Recipients are encouraged to document their efforts to provide LEP persons with meaningful access to federally assisted programs and activities.

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19 Section 504 Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance from HUD.

20 Section 504 compliance review topics Section 504 Coordinator Grievance Procedures Section 504 Notice Public Housing Program Housing Voucher Programs Communications, Telecommunications for Deaf Persons

21 Section 504 compliance review topics Application intake Tenant selection Housing services and conditions (e.g., pet and/or service animal policies, maintenance, transfers, evictions)

22 Section 504 compliance review topics Reasonable accommodation (“housing adjustments”) Distribution of accessible dwelling units Occupancy of accessible dwelling units

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24 What happens during a compliance review? Notification letter Itemizes information to be sent to FHEO at least 30 days prior to the on- site review.

25 Data request Application and move-in packages for HUD- assisted housing programs (application, lease and attachments, house rules, resident handbook, etc.) Policies and procedures (reasonable accommodations, transfer, pet, grievance, etc). List of current residents (name, unit number and size, size of household, move-in date, whether or not handicapped, race or ethnicity, etc.); alternatively, confirmation that data in PIC is current.

26 Logistics Expect an on-site compliance review to last 3 to 5 days. Review team will need a room in which to conduct interviews and review records. Room should include a table and chairs, and electrical outlets (to plug-in laptop computers).

27 Interviews Interviews of staff Interview tenants

28 File and records reviews Files of current residents Applicant files Files of applicants rejected as ineligible Records relating to reasonable accommodation requests

29 File and records reviews Maintenance work order files and records, including the work order log, if one is maintained. Files of residents who have been evicted. Grievance files of residents who filed complaints or grievances alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 or Title VI.

30 Site review (504 accessibility) Review team will conduct an accessibility inspection of non- housing and housing facilities, including at least one representative dwelling unit. An accessibility inspection involves taking measurements and photos.

31 After the on-site review Data analysis To identify any deviation from existing policies and practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability. To identify any differential treatment because of race, color, national origin, or disability. To identify any regulatory or statutory violations.

32 After the on-site review Letter of Findings Preliminary finding of compliance or noncompliance. Notifies the housing provider of the results of the compliance review.

33 Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) Accompanies Preliminary Findings of Noncompliance letter. Proposes remedies.

34 Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) Signed by officials for the housing provider and HUD. Effective date is the date signed by the FHEO Director.

35 If voluntary compliance is not achieved Administrative hearing leading to termination of Federal assistance. Referral to Department of Justice.

36 FAIR HOUSING HOT ISSUES

37 Disparate Impact Rule Section 3 Update and National Registry Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Proposed Rule Equal Access Law Accessibility Standard - Changes Reasonable Accommodations/Assistance Animals

38 Disparate Impact Rule Interpretation of Fair Housing Act (1968) Final Rule published Federal Register – February 15, Prohibit practices with an unjustified discriminatory effect regardless if intent to discriminate. Three pronged test.

39 Section 3 Update and National Registry New Section 3 reporting site currently not operational. Reports will be due when new reporting site is operational Section 3 National Registry.

40 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Proposed Rule Brief overview of AFFH requirements. Proposed Rule.

41 HUD’s Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Rule became effective on March 3, Applies to all HUD programs. Equal Access Rule Requirements

42 Inquiry prohibition. Prohibits inquiries of an applicant or occupant’s sexual orientation or gender identity for the purpose of determining eligibility or otherwise making housing available. 24 CFR Section Broad coverage: Owners or administrators of HUD-assisted or insured housing, approved lenders in an FHA mortgage insurance program, and any recipient or sub-recipient of HUD funds. Equal Access Rule

43 HUD allows Alternate Accessibility Standards Accessibility requirements for federally Subsidized Housing recipients – use Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) to meet the accessibility requirements of Section 504. As of May 23, 2014 – Federally subsidized Housing recipients may use the 2010 ADA standards with the Exceptions. press_releases_media_advisories/2014/HUDNo_

44 Reasonable Accommodations What is it? What are the Housing Providers Responsibilities?

45 Housing Providers Responsibility Engaging in an interactive dialogue. The process should be quick and easy and involve determining the answers to two questions: 1.) Does the requester have a disability? 2.) Does the requester have a disability-related need for the requested reasonable accommodation?

46 Request for Assistance Animals is a Reasonable Accommodation Assistance Animals – are not Pets. Assistance Animals – includes service animals and emotional support/therapy animals. If a “No pet policy” or “Pet Policy– include statement that this policy does not apply to Assistance animals.

47 Assistance Animals Continued Cannot charge a deposit or a fee. Cannot restrict type, number, size, weight or breed. Cannot deny access to housing or indoor and outdoor public and common use areas associated with housing. Visiting Assistance Animals.

48 QUESTIONS?

49 For more information contact: Michele Hutchins, Equal Opportunity Specialist Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development 125 S. State Street, Room 3001 Salt Lake City, UT (801) Direct line (801) TDD/TTY – Denver Toll Free


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