MVFHC working on the next regional
Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
Resident input is an important component and will be sought in multiple ways
December 15, 2014 — Like all jurisdictions that receive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of Dayton, the City of Kettering, and Montgomery County are obligated to identify, analyze, and devise solutions to impediments to fair housing choice that may exist in the community.
This year, Dayton, Kettering and Montgomery County decided to draw upon the expertise of the professional staff at the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center (MVFHC) and have contracted with MVFHC to conduct the next Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. The MVFHC staff began working with staff from all three jurisdictions in August 2014 and will continue to work through July 2015. The final Analysis is expected to be delivered to the jurisdictions on July 31, 2015.
An Analysis of Impediments (AI) is a review of impediments or barriers that affect the rights of fair housing choice. It covers public and private policies, practices, and procedures affecting housing choice. Impediments to fair housing choice are defined as any actions, omissions, or decisions that restrict, or have the effect of restricting, the availability of housing choices, based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. The AI serves as the basis for fair housing planning, provides essential information to policy makers, administrative staff, housing providers, lenders, and fair housing advocates, and assists in building public support for fair housing efforts.
“As part of our work on this analysis we will be seeking input from residents about their experiences with housing discrimination and other housing obstacles,” said Jim McCarthy, President/CEO of MVFHC.
“MVFHC will be engaging with residents through town halls, focus groups, and the online survey,” McCarthy continued.
Residents are encouraged to take the Fair Housing and Housing Obstacles survey. The survey is available 24/7 from now through January 31, 2015.
In addition to resident input, MVFHC staff are also engaged in conducting one-on-one interviews with elected officials, business leaders, Realtors, leasing agents, and other key stakeholders. This work will be combined with an extensive review of the laws, regulations, administrative policies, procedures and practices of Dayton, Kettering, and Montgomery County, as well as an assessment of how those laws affect the location, availability, and accessibility of housing; an evaluation of conditions, both public and private, affecting fair housing choice for all protected classes; and an assessment of the availability of affordable, accessible housing in a range of unit sizes, to form the basis of the final product that will be delivered to the jurisdictions.
“HUD has a renewed emphasis on the importance of examining barriers to fair housing choice, and we are glad to be able to assist the Cities of Dayton and Kettering and Montgomery County in preparing the best analysis possible,” McCarthy said.
HUD awards three-year grant to MVFHC
Grant enables continuation of fair housing enforcement activities
October 15, 2014 — Through its Fair Housing Initiatives Program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a three-year private enforcement initiative grant to the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center (MVFHC). The grant will run through December 2017 and will be funded at $325,000 per year.
The grant enables the continuation of fair housing enforcement activities provided by MVFHC in the Dayton MSA (Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Preble counties), including helping people who feel they have faced housing discrimination by investigating and filing complaints with the Dayton Human Relations Council, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and/or HUD; documenting evidence of systemic discrimination through testing in rental, sales and accessibility design/construction; and providing education instructing people on how to recognize and report housing discrimination as well as racial or sexual harassment.
HUD has more information about the FY2014 FHIP grants on its website.
HUD announces $5 million Wells Fargo settlementafter complaints of discrimination
against women on maternity leave
October 9, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has reached a $5 million settlement with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the nation’s largest provider of home mortgage loans, resolving allegations that the lender discriminated against women who were pregnant, or had recently given birth, and were on maternity leave. Under its authority to enforce the Fair Housing Act, HUD has conducted an intensive campaign to end maternity leave-related discrimination. Since 2010, 190 maternity leave discrimination complaints have been filed with HUD, resulting in more than 40 settlements for a total of nearly $1.5 million prior to today’s settlement.
“The settlement is significant for the six families who had the courage to file complaints and for countless other families who will no longer fear losing out on a home simply because they are expecting a baby,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro.”
Wells Fargo will distribute a total of $165,000 among six affected families and will create a fund with at least $3.5 million to compensate other applicants who experienced discrimination because they were pregnant or on maternity leave when they applied for a loan. Wells Fargo will also change its underwriting guidelines for evaluating mortgage loan applications from those on maternity leave, ensuring the guidelines are not discriminatory.
The full press release is available on HUD’s website.
“Tot Lot” on Weaver Street opens
Playground project received Quality of Life grant from Inclusive Community Fund
September 19, 2014 — A new playground that was partly funded by a Quality of Life grant from MVFHC’s Inclusive Community Fund has officially opened. The “Tot Lot” in Dayton’s Miami Chapel neighborhood was coordinated by the Southwest Priority Board and was the dream of neighborhood activist Pat Rickman.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured speakers including Mrs. Rickman, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton school board member Hazel Roundtree, and MVFHC’s Director of Investigations and Enforcement Anita Schmaltz. Neighborhood school kids attended the ceremony and broke in the playground as soon as the ribbon was cut.
Thanks to Dayton photographer Andy Snow for providing photos of the event.
Previous news items are available here.
Resources and useful links
Inclusive Community Fund
MVFHC’s Inclusive Community Fund
is working to help residents of ZIP codes 45417
with down payment assistance, home repair and rehabilitation, accessibility modifications, home improvement loans, and neighborhood quality of life grants. For more information, visit our ICF page
Reasonable Modifications and Accommodations
Have questions about what your rights or responsibilities are under the federal Fair Housing Act for persons with disabilities? Now available online in the Services/Reference section are joint statements from the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development that explain reasonable modifications
HomeOwnership Center of Greater Dayton
The Home Ownership Center
is a non-profit organization that empowers local residents to achieve and sustain homeownership and financial success. They’ve helped thousands of individuals and families meet their homeownership goals through a variety of services offered at low or no cost.
MVFHC provides legal counsel and advice at no cost for foreclosure cases involving residential mortgages.
If you have received a foreclosure complaint, call MVFHC at 937-223-6035.
If you are struggling with your mortgage payments but have not yet been served with a foreclosure notice, please contact the HomeOwnership Center of Greater Dayton at 937-853-1600.
Service Animal Policy
A Service Animal Policy
is now available available online in the Services/Reference section. The policy explains what service animals are and how they are a reasonable accommodation under the Federal Fair Housing Act and also provides practice guidelines for housing providers
and for tenants
Additional Landlord/Tenant info
Also, if you are a landlord or a tenant wanting information on your rights and duties under Ohio law, the Dayton-Montgomery County Ombudsman's Office has a page about landlord/tenant issues
Mobile Home Park residents
rights and responsibilities
A booklet outlining your rights and responsibilities when renting mobile homes or lots in mobile home parks is available on the Ohio Legal Services website
Fair Housing Advertising Word and Phrase List
A word and phrase list
intended as a guideline to assist in complying with state and federal fair housing laws is available online in the Services/Reference section.
Equal Housing Opportunity usage guidelines
on the usage of the "Equal Housing Opportunity" logo and slogan are available online in the Services/Reference section.
Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST
is an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that promotes compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. Visit www.fairhousingfirst.org
for instruction programs and useful online resources.
is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. To learn how you can save money in your home, visit www.energystar.gov
Copies of special reports such as Analyses of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice released by local jurisdictions as well as other reports done by MVFHC on zoning and predatory lending are available on the reports