Housing Plus

Housing Plus

Guidance and legal insight for all aspects of housing and community development

By the Housing Group at Ballard Spahr

Category Archives: Fair Housing

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HUD Publishes Further Revisions to RAD Notice

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Public Housing, RAD, Section 8, Tax Credits
In an announcement on January 12th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a significant third revision to the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Notice (PIH 2012-32/ H 2017-03 Rev-3). According to HUD, the RAD notice was revised in order to maintain the increased pace of RAD transactions in a manner that is… Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It: A Recap of Recent HUD Activity

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy, Public Housing, RAD, Section 8
HUD has been quite active this month publishing a variety of new rules and housing notices. The following is a list of some of HUD’s most recent guidance. PIH Notice 2016-18 (HA): Guidance on Full Flexibility for Eligible Small PHAs For certain public housing authorities (PHAs) with less than 250 public housing dwelling units, this… Continue Reading

HUD Publishes Much Anticipated RAD Notice on Fair Housing, Civil Rights and Relocation Requirements

Posted in Fair Housing, Policy, RAD
Yesterday HUD published the much anticipated RAD Notice Regarding Fair Housing and Civil Rights Requirements and Relocation Requirements Applicable to RAD First Component – Public Housing (the “Notice”).  The Notice is intended to provide guidance regarding key fair housing and civil rights statutory and regulatory requirements, explain the situations in which HUD is requiring front-end fair housing… Continue Reading

Join us for our Eleventh Annual National Housing Conference in Washington, D.C.

Posted in Budget, Fair Housing, FHA and GSE Financing, Government-Assisted Housing, Housing Bonds, Legislative Initiatives, Policy, Public Housing, RAD, Section 8, Tax Credits
Ballard Spahr is committed to facilitating and leading the conversation within the affordable housing community, which makes us thrilled to announce our Eleventh Annual National Housing Conference in Washington, D.C., from November 3 to 4. This two-day, complimentary event features engaging discussions, panel presentations, special insights, and networking opportunities with the key influences and power… Continue Reading

HUD Expands Fair Housing Liability to Include LEP Discrimination

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Policy
ScaleLast week, HUD issued new guidance confirming that persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). LEP includes a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.  The guidance reasons that LEP persons are covered by the FHA because of their close nexus with the protected class of… Continue Reading

New Fair Housing Rule Extends Liability to Housing Providers for Harassment

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy
This week, HUD issued a final rule that creates liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for housing providers for occurrences of “quid pro quo harassment” or “hostile environment harassment.” The new rule takes effect on October 14, 2016. The rule prohibits both quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment because of a resident’s protected class… Continue Reading

District Court Dismisses Disparate Impact Claims in Texas

Posted in Community Development, Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Tax Credits
After several years of litigation, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently dismissed disparate impact claims filed against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in the fair housing case, The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. v. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP)… Continue Reading

HUD publishes new Fair Housing guidance on criminal background checks

Posted in Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy
On Monday, HUD published new guidance for landlords conducting criminal background checks as a condition of renting housing.  This guidance is applicable to all providers or operators of housing and real estate related transactions subject to the Fair Housing Act (including private and nonprofit landlords).  Generally, HUD cautions that, while using criminal background checks in… Continue Reading

HUD issues PHA Tool for Fair Housing Assessment; Comments due May 23rd

Posted in Fair Housing, Uncategorized
On March 23, 2016, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register to announce the issuance of an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool for Public Housing Authorities (the “PHA Assessment Tool”). Under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (“AFFH”) final rule published on July 16, 2015, program participants are required to conduct an Assessment of… Continue Reading

DOJ and Kent State University reach $145,000 Fair Housing settlement

Posted in Fair Housing, Policy
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Kent State University (KSU) settled claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) related to the use of emotional support animals in university housing. KSU and its employees were charged with disability discrimination for failing to allow a student who suffered from a psychological… Continue Reading

New report offers toolkit for inclusionary housing programs

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Policy, Uncategorized
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy recently released “Inclusionary Housing: Creating and Maintaining Equitable Communities,” a new report on the use of government policies that tie the creation of affordable housing to market-rate residential or commercial development. The use of inclusionary housing programs is relatively new (most were adopted in the last decade), but growing.… Continue Reading

HUD issues final rule modifying portability process in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Legislative Initiatives, Policy, Public Housing, Supportive Services
Effective September 21, amendments to HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program – the government’s largest program for assisting low-income, elderly, and disabled populations in the private housing market – will change the portability process. Portability enables a voucher holder to use the voucher assistance to move outside of the jurisdiction of the public housing authority (HA)… Continue Reading

DOJ provides guidance on service animal accommodation for housing and beyond

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Policy, Public Housing, Supportive Services
According to a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement, some pets are allowed in the house. HUD filed and settled a civil rights lawsuit against RiverBay Corporation, a New York City-based affordable housing cooperative manager that owns and operates 15,372 residential units – the largest housing cooperative in the country, claiming the company maintained no-pets… Continue Reading

Webinar event: Consequences of Disparate Impact for Multifamily Housing

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Housing Bonds, Legislative Initiatives, Multifamily, Policy
Housing Plus bloggers Michael Skojec and Amy Glassman will be featured speakers on Novogradac’s webinar: “Consequences of Disparate Impact for Multifamily Housing” on July 22. The webinar will discuss the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. case and explore how… Continue Reading

Upcoming NH&RA panel discussion: How the Supreme Court is Reshaping Affordable Housing Policy in TDHCA v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy
Housing Plus blogger Sharon Wilson Géno will moderate a panel – Disparate Impact: How the Supreme Court is Reshaping Affordable Housing Policy in TDHCA v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. – on July 16 at the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association’s Summer Institute conference. She previews the panel discussion below. It’s hard to disagree with… Continue Reading

HUD issues final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy, Public Housing
Today, HUD issued the  final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), which represents HUD’s effort to provide guidance and standards for HUD grantees to comply with AFFH. The final rule requires cities, housing authorities, and other jurisdictions that receive HUD funds to conduct local analysis of HUD-provided data about racial and ethnic poverty statistics,… Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court decides 5-4: disparate-impact liability is cognizable under the Fair Housing Act

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Legislative Initiatives, Policy, Public Housing, Supportive Services
In a 5-4 decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that disparate-impact claims maintain adjudication viability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Justices Kennedy, Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan provided the majority opinions, while Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas wrote dissenting opinions. The majority opinion is available here. The Court acknowledges… Continue Reading

Please join us for the fifth annual Western Housing Conference

Posted in Budget, Community Development, Enforcement, Fair Housing, FHA and GSE Financing, FHA-Insured Financing, Government-Assisted Housing, GSE Financing, Housing Bonds, Legislative Initiatives, Multifamily, Policy, Public Housing, RAD, Section 8, Single-Family, Tax Credits, Tax Reform, Tax-Exempt Bonds
Several exciting developments have recently brought changes to the affordable housing industry and we are inviting you to explore them with us at our fifth annual Western Housing Conference. Ballard Spahr and CSG Advisors are pleased to announce this year’s Best of the West in Affordable Housing Development and Financing conference on March 13, in… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court hears disparate impact case

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Legislative Initiatives, Policy
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case which questioned whether the Fair Housing Act (FHA) allows for a disparate impact theory of liability.  The disparate impact theory of liability is one in which a plaintiff shows (usually through statistical analysis) that a protected class was harmed by a policy even… Continue Reading

Section 202: using federal sources to assist the growing elderly population

Posted in Fair Housing, Senior Housing, Supportive Services
During one of the sessions at Ballard Spahr’s Ninth Annual National Housing Symposium, Mara Blitzer from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) discussed federal housing resources for aging Americans with a focus on HUD’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.  Ms. Blitzer explained that Section 202 is the federal government’s… Continue Reading

Insights from the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

Posted in Community Development, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Legislative Initiatives, Policy, Public Housing, Section 8, Supportive Services
Our Ninth Annual National Housing Symposium successfully brought together a rich panorama of perspectives across the affordable housing industry. Laura Green Zeilinger, the Executive Director for the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), gave a keynote presentation that affirmed and galvanized the dialogue occurring among our panelists and attendees: the successes of affordable housing… Continue Reading

Federal court strikes down HUD’s disparate impact regulations

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Policy, Tax Credits
On Monday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a scathing opinion that struck down HUD’s disparate impact rule. The disparate impact rule, also referred to as a “discriminatory effects” standard, established liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for the discriminatory effect of a housing practice, even in the midst of no discriminatory intent. Although many… Continue Reading

LGBT-friendly senior housing planned for D.C.

Posted in Fair Housing, Policy, Senior Housing
This past weekend I attended an open house for Mary’s House for Older Adults,  a pro bono client in northeast D.C.   Mary’s House is the brainchild of Dr. Imani Woody, who plans to transform her childhood home into  affordable senior housing friendly to lesbian, gay, bixseual, or transgender (LGBT) residents.  This is the first LGBT-friendly senior housing… Continue Reading