Fair Housing Choice Committee Needs Members

From the Portland Housing Bureau:

Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing Choice

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is looking for people interested in participating on the committee to conduct the Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing Choice.

On behalf of the consortium of the City of Portland, the City of Gresham and Multnomah County, PHB is required to submit to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certification that it is affirmatively furthering fair housing. This certification has three elements and requires that the County:

  1. Complete an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI);
  2. Take actions to overcome the effects of any impediments identified through the analysis; and
  3. Maintain records reflecting the actions taken in response to the analysis.


HUD defines impediments to fair housing choice in terms of their applicability to local, state and federal law. In Multnomah County, barriers would include:

• Any actions, omissions or decisions taken because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, mental or physical disability, source of income, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity (protected classes) which restrict housing choices or the availability of housing choice.

• Any actions, omissions or decisions that have the effect of limiting housing choices or the availability of housing choice on the protected classes listed above.

The AI process involves examining various data and interviews with a variety of key stakeholders variety of sources related to housing, which affect people protected under fair housing law.

PHB has contracted with Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) to conduct fair housing testing within Multnomah County. A full report on the Multnomah County testing is expected in February 2011. Back in April, the FHCO released a report on fair housing testing FHCO conducted in Ashland and Beaverton to see whether renters face housing discrimination. The FHCO sent African-American and white testers with the same credentials to look at apartments advertised in newspapers and online. The testing showed that more than 75% of Black testers in Ashland and Beaverton faced discrimination.

Seeking Committee Members

Ideally, AI committee members will have a background with working with or advocating for racial or ethnic groups, families with children, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, immigrant communities, as well as gay, lesbian and transgendered people. Experience in the affordable housing industry and/or financial institutions are a plus.

An important component of an AI also includes an active and involved public input and review process via direct contact with stakeholders, public forums to collect input from citizens, distribution of draft reports for citizen review and formal presentations of findings.

The committee will be made up of about 15-20 members, and will begin meeting in November 2010. The committee will meet seven to eight times culminating in a final report in May 2011.

If you are interested in serving on the AI Committee please contact:

Art Hendricks
Sr. Community Outreach and Information Representative
(503) 823-4623