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Annual Performance Plan 508

Annual Performance Plan 508

Housing and community

Housing and community development efforts must address a complex network of individual, social, economic, and environmental factors in order to promote more diverse, inclusive communities and improve the sustainability of neighborhoods, communities, and regions. Many of the neighborhoods hit hardest by the housing and economic crisis—those with the highest rates of foreclosure and job loss—have been racially isolated and among the least sustainable, with limited access to economic opportunity, the longest commuting times to jobs, the most homes that pose health risks, and the poorest quality schools. It is crucial that the federal government and its local partners effectively coordinate policies related to community development, climate change, energy efficiency, transportation, and disaster preparedness. Today we know that “place” influences outcomes—the place where a person lives is a reliable predictor of his or her long-term health, education, and employment outcomes. Families and individuals living in concentrated poverty experience greater inequity and often, as a result, more dismal outcomes. Residents of these neighborhoods have limited access to transportation, face health hazards in their home and communities, suffer from the poorest schools, and have the fewest economic opportunities. In many areas, the spatial mismatch between housing and transportation investments limits access to decent employment and education opportunities for entire neighborhoods. This not only impacts the lives of residents in those communities, but the resulting need to travel greater distances to connect to these resources has a clear impact on the environment as well—from wetland and open space lost to sprawling development patterns to ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions. To address these problems, Goal 4 focuses explicitly on “place,” preparing communities for the future of their economy, environment, and community development, through enhanced planning, enforcement, and capacity building—so that all communities are livable for residents and viable in the long-term. The following strategic objectives provide a roadmap for accomplishing this goal: Strategic Objective: Reduce housing discrimination, affirmatively further fair housing through HUD programs, and promote diverse, inclusive communities. Strategic Objective: Increase the health and safety of homes and embed comprehensive energy efficiency and healthy housing criteria across HUD programs. Strategic Objective: Support the recovery of communities from disasters by promoting community resilience, developing state and local capacity, and ensuring a coordinated federal response that reduces risk and produces a more resilient built environment. Strategic Objective: Strengthen communities’ economic health, resilience and access to opportunity. 92 Strategic Goal: Build Strong, Resilient, and Inclusive Communities

Strategic Objective: Fair Housing Reduce housing discrimination, affirmatively further fair housing through HUD programs, and promote diverse, inclusive communities. OVERVIEW HUD seeks to significantly increase the number of housing providers, lenders, members of the real estate community, and others that fully comply with the Fair Housing Act and other applicable fair housing and civil rights laws and do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by those laws and regulations. While housing discrimination still takes on blatant forms in some instances, it has become more subtle and sophisticated through the years, resulting in under¬reporting and complicating effective enforcement. In addition to enforcement, HUD works proactively to make access to important neighborhood assets measurably fairer, to significantly increase the economic opportunities available to low-income residents in neighborhoods where HUD invests, and to ensure that policies and practices are in place to provide equal access to persons with disabilities. STRATEGIES • Better ensure compliance with civil rights and economic opportunity requirements by providing high-quality technical assistance and training to stakeholders. HUD will provide technical assistance on fair housing and civil rights laws and program requirements, such as the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH), Section 3, Title VI, Section 504, and other areas of civil rights compliance so that HUD grantees have enough information and guidance to comply with civil rights requirements. This will include increasing technical assistance on fair housing issues and more effectively embedding civil rights requirements into other technical assistance offered by HUD. • Discourage discrimination by educating housing providers and by publicizing the consequences of violating the law. HUD will target housing providers, lenders, real estate agents, and the public at large for training and outreach to educate them on their rights and responsibilities under fair housing laws. HUD will expand availability of fair housing educational material for industry representatives and consumers through website offerings. HUD will also strategically use press, public engagement, and other education and outreach techniques to deter discrimination. • Help stop discrimination through strong enforcement of the law against violators, with a particular focus on systemic cases (those matters involving widespread discrimination affecting multiple people), more meaningful case outcomes, and enforcement strategies that identify and change widespread policies and practices. Strategic Goal: Build Strong, Resilient, and Inclusive Communities 93

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