Inquiries and Comments:
If you have any questions, comments, or other feedback about the District of Columbia’s Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
D.C. Draft Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (September 2019):
- Download PowerPoint Presentation from Public Meetings (June 2019)
- D.C. Fair Housing Analysis Handout (June 2019)
PRRAC and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law are assisting Washington, D.C’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in putting together the HUD-mandated fair housing analysis of the District of Columbia. As part of this process, we are hosting public meetings, engaging with key stakeholders, and analyzing data related to housing.
What is Fair Housing?
Fair housing laws, like the federal Fair Housing Act and the D.C. Human Rights Act, protect people from discrimination in housing on the basis of protected characteristics like race, sex, and disability. The D.C. Human Rights Act protects against discrimination on the basis of a wider variety of traits than does the Fair Housing Act.
Illegal housing discrimination comes in a number of forms. Examples may include:
- Refusing to rent an apartment to a household because they are Black;
- Providing less regular maintenance services to some residents because they are Latino;
- Denying the request of a person with a disability to have an emotional support animal in their apartment; and
- Sexual harassment of female residents by a property manager.
If you have been the victim of housing discrimination, you can file a complaint with D.C.’s Office of Human Rights. Their phone number is (202) 727-4559, and their website can be found at http://www.ohr.dc.gov.
What Is an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice?
Under the Fair Housing Act, it is not enough for governments like the District of Columbia that receive federal housing and community development funds to not engage in housing discrimination. They also have to “affirmatively further fair housing.” This means, in part, that they also have to take actions to overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) currently directs its grantees to comply with this requirement by developing a fair housing plan that is called the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, taking action to address the impediments identified in the plan, and maintaining records documenting those steps.
The District of Columbia, through its consultants, is using a template that HUD developed in 2015 to complete its Analysis of Impediments. That template relies on the sources of information listed below to inform an analysis of segregation, racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, publicly supported housing, disproportionate housing needs, disparities in access to opportunity, disability and access, and fair housing enforcement and outreach.
• HUD-provided data and maps;
• Local data and knowledge; and
• Robust participation from residents and community stakeholders.
The most important component of the Analysis of Impediments is a set of priorities and goals for actually improving the conditions discussed in the plan in concrete ways.