Miami Valley Fair Housing Center applauds new fair housing rule
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation will empower
local jurisdictions to identify and remove barriers to fair housing
July 8, 2015 — An important new fair housing regulation — aimed at promoting diverse, inclusive communities and overcoming the negative effects of segregation — was issued today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The regulation is designed to guide jurisdictions in complying with their existing obligations to “affirmatively further fair housing,” a key provision of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. It requires state and local governments and housing authorities to consider how to eliminate fair housing barriers for people of color, families with children and people with disabilities.
For the first time, HUD will provide substantial data on housing, demographics and other local conditions for state and local policymakers to assess in determining, among other things, the degree of segregation, concentrated poverty and barriers to equal housing opportunity in their communities.
“Dayton and the rest of the United States remain highly segregated, although we have made some progress,” said Jim McCarthy, President/CEO of the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center. “Maps of major cities illustrate how segregated our communities are. At the same time, where you live has a big impact on how your life unfolds. It determines the schools your children attend, the jobs you have access to, the quality of your surroundings, your access to transportation and grocery stores and other important community resources. In the Dayton area, too many children are growing up in neighborhoods that lack these resources. This not only limits the life prospects of these children but also undermines our region’s prosperity.”
“This new HUD rule will help all jurisdictions in the Miami Valley to be more deliberate and strategic about how they use their housing and community development resources to expand access to opportunity for all residents of our community,” McCarthy added. “We look forward to working with local policymakers, to ensure that all people — regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, family status or disability — can chose where to live and to ensure that all neighborhoods are good places to live.”
Brown calls for investigation of racial discrimination in management of foreclosed homes
Senator urges federal regulators to examine reports of unequal treatment of properties in Dayton and other communities nationwide
Brown joined more than a dozen senators in a letter urging the nation’s top financial, housing, and consumer protection regulators to examine allegations that bank-owned properties in white neighborhoods are better maintained and marketed than those in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. In the letter, the senators ask the regulators to take appropriate actions to stop any unequal treatment and violations of the Fair Housing Act.
“The same communities of color who were victimized by predatory lending may now be facing the double whammy of racial bias when it comes to the upkeep of foreclosed homes,” said Brown. “This is a problem that pushes down property values and erodes the quality of life in these communities. Federal agencies should ensure that the financial institutions managing these foreclosed properties use the same maintenance and marketing standards regardless of the race, color, or ethnicity of the homeowners who live in the neighborhood.”
The senators pointed to a report by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) detailing racial disparities in the upkeep and marketing of more than 2,400 Real Estate Owned (REO) homes—that is, bank-owned foreclosed properties—in 29 major metropolitan areas nationwide. Among other discrepancies, NFHA found that bank-owned properties in minority communities in the Dayton area were 2.9 times more likely to have utilities that were exposed or tampered with than properties in comparable, predominantly-white communities.
HUD Assistant Secretary Gustavo Velasquez speaks against SB 134
SB 134 would force landlords and tenants to more expensive channels to process discrimination complaints
May 6, 2015 — Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, spoke yesterday at the Ohio Statehouse about the problems that proposed Senate Bill 134 would present to fair housing in Ohio.
The assistant secretary, speaking to the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission on Hispanic Legislative Day, warned that the changes proposed in SB 134 “could undermine our efforts to protect the housing rights of all Ohio residents.”
Assistant Secretary Velasquez said, “The senator who sponsored the bill claims that SB 134 and now its companion bill HB 149 would conform Ohio fair housing laws to federal standards.”
“But the fact of the matter,” continued Assistant Secretary Velasquez, “is that limiting certain civil penalties, allowing respondents to recover attorneys’ fees in certain instances, and exempting certain landlords from the housing provisions of the Ohio civil rights law would have the opposite effect of the sponsor’s intentions, forcing landlords and tenants to more expensive and complex channels to process discrimination complaints, both administratively and in court.”
The assistant secretary urged people to look closely at SB 134 and to speak out against it.
You can view the assistant secretary’s remarks on YouTube.
Learn more about how SB 134 would hurt Ohio on the fight134.org website.
In conjunction with the Greater Dayton Apartment Association, MVFHC is offering one-hour fair housing webinars on the third Thursday of every month in 2015. For more information, visit our GDAA webinar page.
Inclusive Community Fund
MVFHC’s Inclusive Community Fund is working to help residents of ZIP codes 45417 and 45426 with down payment assistance, home repair and rehabilitation, accessibility modifications, home improvement loans, and neighborhood quality of life grants. For more information, visit our ICF page.
Reasonable Modifications and Accommodations
Have questions about what your rights or responsibilities are under the federal Fair Housing Act for persons with disabilities? Now available online in the Services/Reference section are joint statements from the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development that explain reasonable modifications and accommodations.
HomeOwnership Center of Greater Dayton
The Home Ownership Center is a non-profit organization that empowers local residents to achieve and sustain homeownership and financial success. They’ve helped thousands of individuals and families meet their homeownership goals through a variety of services offered at low or no cost.
MVFHC provides legal counsel and advice at no cost for foreclosure cases involving residential mortgages.
If you have received a foreclosure complaint, call MVFHC at 937-223-6035.
A Service Animal Policy is now available available online in the Services/Reference section. The policy explains what service animals are and how they are a reasonable accommodation under the Federal Fair Housing Act and also provides practice guidelines for housing providers and for tenants.
Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that promotes compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. Visit www.fairhousingfirst.org for instruction programs and useful online resources.
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. To learn how you can save money in your home, visit www.energystar.gov.
Copies of special reports such as Analyses of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice released by local jurisdictions as well as other reports done by MVFHC on zoning and predatory lending are available on the reports page.
Copyright 2003–2015 Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, Inc.