Pursuant to its authority under the Fair Housing Act, HUD has directed program participants to undertake a new type of assessment of fair housing issues called the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) approach. The updated AFH rule is designed to improve community planning in order to overcome fair housing issues.
The Department of Community Development, in partnership with the Hammond Human Relations Commission, is current in the process of preparing the City of Hammond’s Assessment of Fair Housing Plan. The AFH process will begin with inclusive community participation and will result in the setting of fair housing goals to increase fair housing choice and provide equal access to opportunity for all community members. The City will then use the fair housing goals and priorities established in the AFH to inform the investments and other decisions made in local planning processes.
As provided in the rule, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics. Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws. The duty to affirmatively further fair housing extends to all of a program participant’s activities and programs relating to housing and urban development.
The AFH is designed to identify fair housing issues, determine the factors that significantly contribute to identified issues, and develop a plan to overcome them. To help with this analysis, HUD has provided data through maps and tables for public inspection. The data provided will help provide context for the following fair housing concepts:
- Integration and segregation patterns and trends based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, and disability in the jurisdiction and region;
- Racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs) in the jurisdiction and region;
- Significant disparities in access to opportunity for any protected class in the jurisdiction and region; and
- Disproportionate housing needs for any protected class within the jurisdiction and region.