Two HUD offices issued a joint notice reminding Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) of their obligation to comply with various non-discrimination and equal opportunity laws and regulations. PIH Notice 2011-31/FHEO Notice 2011-1 was signed by Sandra Henriquez, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing (PIH), and by John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO).
There is no new policy in the June 13, 2011 Notice. However, it offers advocates a concise source of information about key civil rights laws and regulations, and how they apply to PHAs, as well as their contractors and other agents.
There are eight sections in the Notice, each with links to additional resources.
- Section I provides a comprehensive list of relevant civil rights regulations.
- Section II discusses the Fair Housing Act, which is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
- Section III focuses on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing obligation from Section 808(e)(5) of the Fair Housing Act.
- Section IV features Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in all programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, not just housing.
- Section V presents the civil rights protections for people with disabilities.
- Section VI highlights six site and neighborhood standards PHAs must consider, such as assuring that new construction and rehabilitation projects provide access to schools, hospitals, and other services that are at least equivalent to those typically found in neighborhoods consisting mostly of similar unassisted housing.
- Section VII covers environmental justice and environmental reviews.
- Section VIII is about improving access to services for people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
The Notice is available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=PIH2011-31.PDF.
More information is available on the FHEO website at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/FHLaws.