FHCO works closely with Oregon jurisdictions to help them carry out their fair housing responsibilities. Under fair housing law, states, cities, counties and regional governments must not only refrain from discrimination, but are required to “affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH)”. This means they must use a fair housing lens to view all of their activities, including zoning, citing, code enforcement, etc. to make sure no activities are having a negative impact on protected classes and/or integration. 

The AFFH requirement applies to all jurisdictions that, directly or indirectly, receive any federal funds for housing or related activities, such as transportation and community development.

Examples of jurisdictions violating their fair housing requirements:

  • A city council refuses to site group homes for individuals with disabilities in areas where neighbors oppose the siting, based on their negative stereotypes. Individuals with disabilities are a protected class under fair housing law, and locating all group homes in the same neighborhoods promotes segregation.
  • A planning commission backs off from approving a new low-income housing development because of neighbors’ opposition. Usually the majority of low- income housing residents are members of protected classes, including families with children and individuals with disabilities, so policies that restrict low-income housing to certain areas have a disparate impact on these classes and constitute segregation.
  • Code enforcement staff does not enforcing occupancy standards equally throughout a jurisdiction, doing more inspections for occupancy violations in immigrant neighborhoods.
  • Building code staff approves new multifamily housing that does not meet federal accessibility standards under fair housing law.

Jurisdictions are expected to take an active role to educate community members of their fair housing rights and responsibilities. This includes sponsoring trainings for housing providers, housing consumers and advocates, and having fair housing information available at appropriate locations.

FHCO works closely with the State of Oregon and cities, counties and regional governments throughout the state to insure they understand their responsibilities under fair housing law, and to assist them in identifying fair housing barriers in their communities and developing effective strategies for addressing them.

We offer classes in Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing for jurisdictional staff and elected officials throughout the state and provide one-on-one technical assistance to planners, community development specialists, code enforcement professionals housing authorities, elected officials and community advocates.

To learn more, click on affirmatively furthering fair housing. We have excellent resources to share, including:

To contact us about AFFH or to arrange a training, contact Shyle Ruder ext. 113