Release Date: 03/31/2017
BOISE, Idaho – Every year, April is proclaimed Fair Housing Month, commemorating passage of the federal Fair Housing Act in Idaho and throughout the country. The law’s primary aim is to ensure that all people can live where they choose, in a home they can afford, and in a community with ready access to education, employment and services.
“We are fortunate to have strong partnerships united in the effort to promote fair housing principles throughout Idaho,” said Gerald M. Hunter, president of IHFA. “Working together, we hope to effect positive change by increasing the availability of affordable housing options and providing equal opportunity for all Idaho residents.”
Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) partnered with the Idaho Department of Commerce (IDC) and hired BBC Research & Consulting, one of the country’s largest and most respected economic research firms, to assess Idaho’s current fair housing activities. “Idaho is one of the first states in the nation to use an ‘opportunity lens’ in its assessment of fair housing issues,” says Heidi Aggeler, the firm’s managing director. “This is important because fair housing and increased opportunity are fundamental to healthy communities.”
The focus on opportunity is significant because where people live determines how easily they can access essential community assets, such as education, employment, healthcare, courts, and even recreation. As important as the fair housing law is to preventing discrimination, its impact on economic stability and community health benefits all Idahoans.
The 2017 Idaho Assessment of Fair Housing also identified areas in need of attention. High levels of poverty in rural Idaho were found to profoundly impact children and often contribute to housing cost burden and limited opportunities. The game plan to remedy these challenges is straightforward, the assessment concludes:
• Increase the availability of accessible and affordable housing options.
• Address the educational gaps of minorities and those with disabilities by locating housing resources near good schools.
• Work cooperatively to provide rural areas with more public transportation options.
“The assessment provides a better understanding of how to mitigate the contributing factors that hinder economic opportunity for Idaho residents, especially in rural communities,” according to Dennis Porter, IDC manager.
For more information about Idaho’s fair housing activities and trainings, visit fairhousingforum.org. IHFA is a member and long-time supporter of the Fair Housing Forum, a group of organizations and municipalities that support fair housing education and outreach.
About Idaho Housing and Finance Association
Idaho Housing and Finance Association is a financial services and housing business organization. IHFA’s mission is to improve lives and strengthen Idaho communities by expanding housing opportunities, building self-sufficiency, and fostering economic development.
About the Idaho Department of Commerce
As the lead economic development agency for the state of Idaho, the mission of the Idaho Department of Commerce is to foster a business-friendly environment to aid in job creation, support existing companies, and strengthen communities.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IdahoCommerce Twitter: https://twitter.com/IdahoCommerce
About the United States Fair Housing Act of 1968
The Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) is a federal act intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. It prohibits the refusal to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.