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How is your agency honoring Fair Housing Month?

becky-gligo.jpgApril is Fair Housing Month, and that's always a useful occasion to review our fair housing efforts and ask ourselves what we can be doing better.

One of the key areas of fair housing compliance for PHAs is to affirmatively further fair housing. In order to meet this expectation, housing authorities should be looking at ways to take their efforts to the next level.

Here are some ideas to maximize your existing fair housing efforts:

Action #1: Self-assess.

FHEO and legal aid visits can be stressful occurrences for housing authorities. Conducting self-assessments to identify fair housing vulnerabilities can help your PHA to address areas of weakness and feel confident about those interactions.

Check FHEO's website for notices, checklists, and other tools to conduct self-assessments.

Action #2: Work with community groups.

One of the most encouraging things about fair housing requirements is that housing authorities aren't trying to meet them alone. Every community has numerous nonprofit organizations working in the fields of domestic violence, disability assistance, language assistance, and general outreach.

With their expertise, funding, and desire to reach out to low-income families, these nonprofits can be valuable partners for your PHA. Work to create partnerships, furthering the mission to eliminate barriers to fair housing in your community.

Action #3: Educate staff.

Fair housing requirements can be numerous and difficult to navigate. Staff training is key to successful compliance efforts.

There are great online references like, with webinar footage, pamphlets, and links to other resources. Local fair housing groups, legal aid, and even HUD field offices are often eager to work with PHAs to train staff. NMA has several fair housing classes available, as well as a new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing seminar that covers the topics listed above and more.

No matter how you choose to mark Fair Housing Month, the efforts made by your PHA to reduce and even eliminate barriers to fair housing in the community will help to create more equal housing opportunities nationwide.

Becky Gligo has been a trainer and consultant at Nan McKay and Associates since 2008. She trains hundreds of housing authority staff each year, both in open enrollment and onsite trainings. Ms. Gligo specializes in HCV regulations and operations, and is one of NMA's primary fair housing experts.

NMA also offers fair housing consulting and products to assist your agency with HUD compliance.