Introduction to an “Analysis of Impediments”

One of the conditions of the TxLIHIS – Texas Appleseed – State of Texas Fair Housing settlement on hurricane recovery is that the state will update its Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing.  This piece by Elizabeth Nowrouz gives some basic background for readers about what an AI is.

The 1974 Housing and Community Development Act set guidelines in place for Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs). In order for potential recipients to receive grants, they must follow a process that ensures the funding will be put to use in a fair way, and one that furthers the mission and goals HUD has set forth.

Potential grantees must certify that they are fulfilling their fair housing and civil rights obligations, and in order to make this certification the jurisdiction must have an Analysis of Impediments to fair housing. This is essentially a summary of existing obstacles to achieving fair housing choices. Impediments are defined as “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.”

AIs are intended to bring the most pressing issues to the attention of those in charge of policy decisions, fair housing advocates, and others.

Each AI must include:

1)  A review of existing laws, jurisdictions, policies, etc. that could potentially apply.

2)  An summary of how those existing provisos affect the location, availability and accessibility of housing.

3)  An evaluation of the conditions affecting fair housing choices.

4)  A review of affording housing in the area, including accessibility features and different styles and sizes of units.

In addition to the listing of impediments, an AI must also include a set of steps that will be taken to directly address and rectify the problems previously stated.

HUD’s Fair Housing Planning Guide provides information on how to conduct an AI, undertake activities to overcome identified impediments, and maintain documentary records.  In 2004, the Assistant Secretaries for the Offices of Community Planning and Development and Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity created an Analysis of Impediments Memorandum, which gives guidance on the update requirements for AIs issued by state and local entitlement jurisdictions.

Web Resources:

HUD’s Fair Housing Planning Guide

http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/images/fhpg.pdf

HUD 2004 Analysis of Impediments Memorandum:

http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/library/finaljointletter.pdf

Presentation on Creating an AI at UT’s Fair Housing Conference:

http://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/publicinterest/activities/fairhousinginfo.html#program

Fair Housing Conference Handouts, including example AIs:

http://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/publicinterest/activities/fairhousinginfo.html#Speak

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