Fair Housing Is the Law. What If You Feel Discriminated Against?
Equal access to rental housing and homeownership opportunities is the cornerstone of our nation's federal housing policy. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 protects all Americans from discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, national origin, religion, familial status and disability.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the Fair Housing Act. Discrimination can occur in rental and sale of housing, in mortgage lending, and in accommodation for disabilities. Everyone has the right to file a complaint if he/she experiences discrimination. To learn more about the Fair Housing Law and how to file a fair housing complaint, visit the following HUD websites:
Fair Housing Act
Federal Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office
File Fair Housing Complaint
Fair Housing Equal Opportunity for All Booklet
Past Issues of AI
HUD requires that the AI be completed and submitted everyone 3-5 years by individual entitlement jurisdictions or joint consortium of multiple jurisdictions. Earlier versions of the AI were completed under the consortium of multiple cities and counties in the KC metro area.
Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
History of the Project
The City of Lee’s Summit has been conducting an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) since early 2018 and the project is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2019. AI is a federal mandate for the Entitlement Communities of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs to implement the Fair Housing Act. Be a part of the City’s effort to better understand the issues related to housing, housing choice and overall quality of life of its citizens in order to draft future goals and policies to address identified impediments to fair housing choices.
What is AI?
AI is a study that includes;
Analysis of local and regional housing patterns and opportunities
Identification of patterns of concentration of poverty or segregation based on demographic characteristics
Understanding of the contributing factors that led to these patterns
Identification of impediments limiting housing choices for the protected class
Establishment of goals and policies for concrete actions to address impediments
Fair housing choice is the fundamental right of all Americans. Every citizen should have equal right to choose where to live. The City wants to hear from all residents, especially our veterans, seniors, disabled, those with concerns about living conditions as they age, and those exposed to housing discrimination.
The process of this study will include the following key elements:
- Public awareness
- Consultation with stakeholders and public surveys
- Research, data gathering and analysis
- Identification of patterns, issues and contributing factors
- Public participation (community meetings, open houses, etc.)
- Report preparation
- Public hearing and public comment period
- Final report submitted to HUD
The final product of this process is a comprehensive analysis of the status of housing choice opportunities and specific impediments that limit fair housing choice for a person or household of a protected class, and establishment of goals and objectives for meaningful actions to combat the issues.
There were opportunities for public involvement throughout the process. TSurveys were provided in various forms to the general public and targeted audiences on fair housing choice related questions. Various public meetings or other public events were held to further engage the public for education and community solutions. The final phase of public engagement included review of the final document for comment and a public hearing.
To maximize the level of public participation so that a wide range of representation was achieved, the City reached out to various agencies, organizations, civic and advocacy group leaders for assistance. Public engagement provided valuable information in helping the community to assess the current status of fair housing choice and opportunities, which led to identification of choice limiting factors. Public input collected was used for designing strategies to improve housing choice opportunities for all.
Public Participation (Phase I)- Fair Housing Surveys and Forums
The first part of the public engagement included surveys, public forums and public meetings. Below is a summary of these events.
The City conducted three different surveys during the month of May and June to gather input from residents, developers/builders and financial institutions regarding housing and impediments to fair housing choice. All surveys are anonymous. These surveys will help the City with the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, a federal mandate for entitlement communities under HUD grant programs.
The surveys included the following and these surveys have been completed. Survey Results Summary
- Resident Survey
- Developer/Builder Survey
- Financial Institution Survey
Service Providers Forum was held on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at City Hall Howard Conference Rooms. Over 20 service agency representatives attended the forum. You may review the summary of the results of this forum.
A Housing Providers Forum was scheduled for 9:30-11:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 17. However, due to extremely low interest in attendance, this event was cancelled.
Public Participation (Phase II) - Presentation of Phase I Results and Identification of Strategies
The Phase II of the public participation included presentations of Phase I and solicitation of public opinions on future goals and strategies to address barriers to fair housing choice. Several events were held during the the months of October and November 2018.
A public meeting was held on October 22, 2018 in Gamber Community Center to present a summary of the public engagement results from Phase I and analysis results and gather public input on how the community can address identified barriers to fair housing choice.
A public survey was also conducted for the same purpose between October 17 and November 19, 2018.
A public forum was held on November 1, 2018 to collect community input on future goals and strategies to combat impediments.
Several public engagement events for developing goals and strategies to overcome the identified impediments to fair housing choice. The public was offered a survey and a public meeting or forum to provide input during the months of October and November of 2018.
Drafting of the AI
After the completion of the initial public engagement process and the research, data gathering and analysis, a draft of the AI report was prepared. This report outlines the AI process, provides a summary of the public engagement process and input, presents statistical analysis and research results, summarizes key impediments perceived by the public or identified in the analytical process, outlines strategy options and future actions. The final process of the AI included a public hearing and a public review and comment period.
A public hearing was held on May 8, 2019, in City Hall Council Chambers hosted by the City Council Community and Economic Development Committee. The draft AI was made available for the public hearing and to the public before May 3, 2019.
30-Day Public Comment Period
According to the City's Citizen Participation Plan, the public was given a minimum of 30 days for review of the draft document and providing comments before the report was finalized. This public comment period occurred May 10 through June 14, 2019.
The final step of the AI process was to finalize the AI report.
AI has been completed and ready for submission to HUD.
To access the final report of the AI, visit Lee's Summit Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice - Final Report (22 MB).