Are we required to have an affirmatively furthering fair housing policy in place for projects or programs that do not involve housing construction or rehab? For example, a subrecipient is using CDBG for an intersection improvement and another for a wheelchair accessible play structure must they have an Affirmative Fair Housing Policy?
Date Published: May 2015
The unit of local government receiving CDBG funds must affirmatively further fair housing. This statutory requirement is recognized in the certifications it signs as part of its Consolidated Plan submission for CDBG funds. The AFFH policy covers the entire program, including all activities and all subrecipients. There is no need to develop separate policies. The required certification regarding fair housing reads as follows: “Affirmatively Further Fair Housing - The jurisdiction will affirmatively further fair housing, which means it will conduct an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice within the jurisdiction, take appropriate actions to overcome the effects of any impediments identified through that analysis, and maintain records reflecting that analysis and actions in this regard.
There is no requirement that a subrecipient have its own separate policy or plan for affirmatively furthering fair housing, although the subrecipient must comply with general fair housing requirements in carrying out a CDBG activity. Rather, it would be appropriate for your local government to involve its CDBG subrecipients in the process of determining locally appropriate actions to further fair housing and carrying out those actions, and to hold the subrecipients accountable for them in all their projects. Subrecipients engaged in housing activities may have more direct involvement in furthering fair housing; nevertheless, all subrecipients, other participants in the CDBG program, as well as the general public can provide information, insight, and resources that contribute to fulfilling the county’s obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. The county may establish a local requirement for subrecipient involvement in its efforts to affirmatively further fair housing through provisions in its subrecipient agreements, although such a contractual provision is not a specific CDBG regulatory requirement.