This report highlights best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations for affirmatively furthering fair housing. It offers guidance to states and municipalities that receive federal funds on fulfilling their obligation to prevent discrimination, foster integrated and inclusive communities, and ensure equal access to community assets, which include housing, education, employment, transportation, health, and sustainability. The report also provides insight to community members and advocates seeking to implement fair housing principles, as well as to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other enforcement bodies.

Protecting fair housing across the nation, and particularly where federal funds are used for development, is central to our national value of equal opportunity for all, and to the reality that diverse, thriving communities are crucial to America’s future.

With a final regulation expected from HUD, states and municipalities will soon have clearer direction and informational support, as well as greater scrutiny, in fulfilling their fair housing obligations. This is a particularly important time to analyze lessons from the field, and to customize effective practices to fit the needs of local communities.

Case studies described in the report include:

  • Gautreaux in Chicago
  • Federal experiment of Moving to Mobility
  • Baltimore Housing Mobility Program
  • Engaging the housing market in Oak Park, Illinois
  • Defiance of civil rights law in Westchester County, New York
  • Fair share in Mount Laurel, New Jersey
  • Inclusionary zoning in Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Regional planning in Portland, Oregon
  • Expanding fair housing coverage in Seattle, Washington
  • Sustainable Communities Initiative

Lessons learned include:

  • Successful voucher programs expand opportunity
  • Communities must be ready for change
  • Inclusive development is possible
  • Fair housing coverage must be expanded
  • Affirmatively furthering fair housing should be targeted

Recommendations derived from these and other initiatives include:

  • Inclusionary zoning
  • Housing and other opportunities
  • Community land trusts
  • Fair housing coverage
  • More sensible policies relating to drug use
  • Quality of affordable housing
  • Equitable distribution of natural disaster relief
  • Anti-displacement measures

Affirmatively furthering fair housing requires an array of efforts to meet localized needs, as well as participation by historically excluded groups and a diversity of community stakeholders. The examples and lessons described in this report offer important resources for meeting that challenge in ways that expand opportunity for all.