Fair Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is committed to fair housing choice, and is responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act and other civil rights laws. It does so through the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Following is a summary of information about that office.

Mission

To create equal housing opportunities for all persons living in America by administering laws that prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status.

Responsibilities

The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity administers federal laws and established national policies that make sure all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice.

Particular activities carried out by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity include implementing and enforcing the Fair Housing Act and other civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968.

The City of Wichita is equally committed to these principles and requires its sub-contractors who receive funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to comply with this Act as well.

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing

It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to promote non-discrimination and ensure fair and equal housing opportunities for all. In an ongoing effort to provide services and activities in a non-discriminatory manner and to affirmatively further fair housing, HUD is charged by law to implement and enforce a wide array of civil rights laws, not only for members of the public in search of fair housing but for HUD-funded grant recipients as well.

HUD requires that HUD-funded grant recipients conduct an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice, and to address issues that may arise from that analysis.

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (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 policymakers, administrative staff, housing providers, lenders, and fair housing advocates, and assists in building public support for fair housing efforts.

The City of Wichita conducted an extensive AI in 2006. That original study was extensively updated in 2010.

Review the Analysis of Impediments (December 2010) (PDF) for more details.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act as amended (ADA) primarily deals with the accessibility of public facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and businesses open to the general consumer. With respect to housing accessibility, Title II of the ADA only covers housing directly provided by public entities such as public university dormitories. Title III of the ADA requires that public and common-use areas at housing developments are accessible, but does not address individual dwelling units, which are covered by the Fair Housing Act.

The Fair Housing Act requires that federally assisted, newly constructed, housing developments with five or more units must design and construct 5% of the dwelling units, or at least one unit, whichever is greater, to be accessible to persons with mobility disabilities. This includes doors that are wide enough for wheelchairs, kitchens, and bathrooms that allow a person using a wheelchair to maneuver, and other adaptable features within the units. An additional 2% of the dwelling units, or at least one unit, whichever is greater, must be accessible for persons with hearing or visual disabilities.

The Fair Housing Act further requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities. For example, a landlord with a "no pets" policy may be required to grant an exception to this rule and allow an individual who is blind to keep a guide dog in the residence. The Act also requires landlords to allow tenants with disabilities to make reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, as well as to common-use spaces. The landlord is not required to pay for these changes. The landlord is also not required to create more than the minimum number of accessible dwelling units, regardless of demand.

Filing Complaints

Citizens who feel they have experienced housing discrimination are encouraged to contact one of the following agencies listed:

The mission of the Kansas Human Rights Commission is to prevent and eliminate discrimination and assure equal opportunities in all employment relations, to eliminate profiling in conjunction with traffic stops, to eliminate and prevent discrimination, segregation, or separation, and to assure equal opportunities in all places of public accommodations and in housing.

Wichita Office
130 S Market, Suite 7050
Wichita, KS 67202-3827
Phone: 316-337-6270
Fax: 316-337-7376