Community Development’s Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, more commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, ensures protection of housing opportunity by prohibiting discrimination in the sale or rental of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, and was amended in 1988 to include familial status and disability. HUD grantees receiving funds under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program are required to complete a fair housing study, known as an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) to ensure that housing and urban development programs are being administered in a way that furthers fair housing for these protected classes. St. Louis County, the City of Florissant, and the City of O’Fallon participate together in a Consortium for the purpose of accessing federal affordable housing funds under HUD’s Home Investment Partnerships Act (HOME) program. Because of the collaborative affordable housing planning undertaken by the Consortium, the members sought to jointly conduct this AI to provide a streamlined regional approach to fair housing and to identify and address impediments to fair housing choice that often do not strictly follow jurisdictional boundaries.
Analysis of Impediments
The Office of Community Development is charged with coordinating housing and community development related activities in St. Louis County by administering federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The OCD receives funds allocated to St. Louis County each year; approximately $4.5 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and $2.8 million in federal Home Investment Partnership program (HOME). These funds are utilized in participating municipalities and unincorporated areas throughout St. Louis County to carry out programs and activities which benefit low- and moderate-income households or eliminate slums and blighted conditions.
Housing Programs, primarily using HOME funds, were designed to create solutions to abandoned, substandard and unaffordable housing stock by assisting in the development of housing for low and moderate income individuals and families. The St. Louis HOME Consortium was formed to assist in creating and maintaining affordable housing. The Consortia utilizes funds to provide down payment assistance to first time homebuyers in
Funds are also provided to developers of affordable for sale and rental housing for low and moderate income residents. Low and moderate income residents often find obstacles to maintaining their residences. St. Louis County offers assistance through the Home Improvement Program and the Lead Hazard Program.
Community Development Block Grant funds provide annual grants on a formula basis to entitlement cities and counties. The purpose of the CDBG program is to assist in developing viable urban communities. St. Louis County as the lead member is responsible for assisting 77 municipalities and various non-profits in carrying out a wide range of community development activities including but not limited to:
- Acquisition of real property
- Relocation and demolition
- Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures
- Construction of public facilities and improvements such as water, sewer, streets, parks, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes.
- Activities relating to energy conservation and renewable energy resources
- Economic development and job creation/retention
- Historic Preservation
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