Fair Housing

Our Fair Housing and 504 compliance courses are continually updated to reflect the most current requirements. We offer courses suitable for agents and owners as well as courses for both new and experienced on-site staff. Select a course to find out the available formats and to read the course description. For a complete list of courses, download our Signature Course Catalog.

Fair Housing Timely Topics

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Focus Fair Housing investigation and enforcement is a high priority for FHEO this year. Join us for updates on HUD’s guidance on application taking and marketing, the use of Criminal Records in screening, sexual orientation and gender identity, harassment - sexual, racial, religious, ethnic, and disability, status of reauthorized VAWA regs, service and other assistance animals, LEP, AFHMPs and more. Ask your burning questions on Fair Housing and get the answers you need in order to stay in compliance. [Topics subject to change.]

Fair Housing: The Letter and the Spirit

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: An interactive look back at the origins and evolution of Fair Housing laws in the United States: Where we are, how we got here, and where we might be headed. This is not a "nuts and bolts" course - it is a course designed to re-energize jaded housing providers to approach the rules in the spirit of the law. This course is interactive and engaging including a "Price is Right" style intro with prizes, a matching game of dates and events, and an inspirational Power Point.

Fair Housing Compliance: We’re All in This Together

Format: On-Site: 2 hours or Virtual: 2 hours

Focus: This session will help team members understand how what they do or say in performing their individual jobs can either prevent or result in fair housing complaints and/or violations. They will gain insight into how the perceptions and intentions of the applicant or resident and the team member set the stage for every encounter. They will learn to recognize how fair housing complaints and violations can result from their action, inaction, or delayed action as well as from their communication with applicants and residents verbally, nonverbally or in writing. With a focus on senior housing, each of these will be illustrated with real world examples relevant to team members at every level. Participants will be asked to determine what could have been done differently to avoid fair housing exposure. The session will conclude with a set of best practices and a take-home self-assessment.

HUD’s New Guidance on Criminal Activity and Housing

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes
Focus: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) are working to make it easier for people with a criminal record to find housing. In a memo sent out to staff on April 19, 2022 HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge instructed HUD Multifamily to review programs and policies that may "pose barriers to housing for persons with criminal histories or their families." On June 10, 2022, FHEO implemented previously issued Guidance on Applying the Fair Housing Act to Use of Criminal Records by Housing Providers. Since then FHEO has provided training on Strategies for Addressing Discrimination: Housing Providers Use of Criminal Records to Fair Housing advocacy groups who investigate, test, and bring charges against housing providers. Find out how these initiatives will impact the way you do business. This course is applicable to all properties subject to the Fair Housing Act..

Implementing VAWA On Site

Format: On-Site: 2½ hour webinar or workshop / conference session

Focus: There’s more to complying with the Violence Against Women Act than the forms. Owners, agents, managers, resident service coordinators, supervisors, and maintenance should attend this course. Here’s what we cover:
• Domestic Violence: a Snapshot [the numbers, the pandemic, housing instability and poverty, and obstacles to leaving (why victims stay)]
• Complying with the Regulations [the protections, the forms, documentation issues, emergency transfers, guidance for HUD, RD, and LIHTC projects, and a review of state and local laws]
• How to Handle the On-Site Issues [confidentiality, what to say and when to say it, when and how to be proactive, and 5 real-world “what would you do” scenarios representing challenges in both HUD/RD and Tax Credit properties focused on managers and maintenance staff]

Fair Housing Case Studies: Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: You’ve been trained ad nauseam on Fair Housing, right? So, let’s put that book-learning to use with some real-life challenges every manager faces on site. The answer is right on the tip of your tongue. Or is it?

Fair Housing Dos and Don’ts: You Decide

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: When a complaint is levied against a housing provider and makes it to a state or federal court, the way the court decides the case provides “takeaways” for the rest of us. The results of court cases are one of the best ways to find out the “Dos and Don’ts” of Fair Housing. We will review recent court cases about the four most frequent areas of complaint: disability, race, sex, and familial status. You will hear the case, make the call, and find out why the court decided the way they did. We will discuss the takeaways from each case on what we should and should not do in our day-to-day interactions with applicants and residents. The course includes a review of words and phrases to be avoided, used with caution, and those that are considered generally acceptable when advertising or speaking about your property.

Fair Housing: Maintenance Do's and Don'ts

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Maintenance personnel come into contact with residents more than anyone else on site. And if they are not careful, their interaction with a resident or a potential resident could be misunderstood and result in a fair housing violation. This session includes a review of Fair Housing basics and explores typical situations where the well-intentioned maintenance person could be at risk of violating fair housing laws, ways to handle these without discriminating, and the importance of documentation. Includes a checklist for assessing whether company policies are providing the guidance a maintenance person needs plus a special focus on sexual harassment and communicating with persons with disabilities.

How to Write an (Approvable) Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Gwen has prepared, reviewed, and revised more than 500 AFHMP’s for national companies and non-profits in numerous states for HUD, RD, and state agencies. Let her show you how it’s done. This webinar takes the participants through the process of completing an AFHMP -- including learning how to navigate the Census Bureau’s new tools - and Learn how to interpret the data, identify community contacts, work with HUD, RD, or, when applicable, the state agency, and expedite the approval process. Includes guidance on how to do the 5-year review and document the file to prove it.

How to Implement an AFHMP

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: So, you’ve written your Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan and HUD, RD or the State Agency has approved it. Now what? Bring the plan you are trying to implement and we will dissect it together. Even if you didn’t write the plan but are the one on site having to implement it, this course is also for you! This course reviews where the information came from and what it means, teaches you how to implement and train staff on the plan, keep and organize records, track results, and prove ongoing compliance. We will also discuss how to perform the 5-year review of the plan, how to determine if the plan needs to be revised, and how to report the changes or lack of changes to HUD.

How to Affirmatively Market to the Least Likely to Apply

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours
Virtual: 90 minute (Overview)

Focus: The office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is talking a lot these days about “segregated properties”. These are properties where the majority of the residents and/or waiting list are of one race, but the market and/or expanded market area are more diverse. For example: Property – 88% White, 0% Black/African American, 1% Asian, 0.2% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 0% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 10.7% Did not disclose. Market Area – 66% White, 4% Black/African American, 1.3% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 9.5% Asian, 0.7% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 12.4% two or more races, and 5.8% some other race. In this session, our focus will be on how to do affirmative marketing to the least likely to apply in a way that is meaningful and within the spirit of what the law requires of the owners of HUD Multifamily and Rural Development properties. We will also discuss what FHEO is doing to get racially and/or ethnically concentrated properties to comply.

504 Coordination (with or without a named “504 Coordinator”)

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours (Overview)
4-hour workshop (In-Depth)
Virtual: 90 minute (Overview)
4-hour session or two 2-hour sessions (In-Depth)

Focus: Section 504 provides special protections to persons with disabilities who reside in HUD, HOME and RD funded properties. The penalty for non-compliance with Section 504 is loss of all federal funding. The responsibility for coordinating 504 compliance applies to all covered properties – regardless of the number of employees and regardless of whether or not one person has been named as the “504 Coordinator”. This course teaches the duties and responsibilities that properties must fulfill, who must perform them, how to define the specific role of a 504 coordinator when one is required, and how to manage 504 monitoring and compliance efficiently and effectively to prevent complaints and findings.

Fair Housing 101

Format: On-Site: 4 hour Workshop or Virtual: One 4-hour session or two 2-hour sessions

Focus: Fair Housing basics plus problem solving exercises and activities. Includes (1) Why Fair Housing? (2) Protected Classes and Prohibited Activities, (3) Section 504, (4) Familial Status (5) Persons with Disabilities, and (6) Key differences among HUD, HOME, RD, LIHTC, and Conventional property rules.

Reasonable Accommodation

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Live-in aids, assistance animals, assigned parking . . . Fair Housing laws require owners/managers of rental housing to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities when a rule, policy or practice interferes with the person’s right to use and enjoy their dwelling or when an accommodation will enable the tenant to comply with the lease, house rules and other requirements of tenancy. What is reasonable? What is necessary? When and how do you verify that the accommodation is related to the disability? What are the limitations on the Owner/Manager responsibility to provide the accommodation? What do you do when lease violations persist or result from the accommodation? Get the answers to these and other questions by reviewing the applicable laws and applying them to real-world examples and solutions.

Accessibility Requirements

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines (FHAAG), Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Guide (ADAAG), Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS). Which ones apply to HUD? RD? Tax Credits?” Conventional Market Rate properties? What are the requirements for new construction? For existing properties? What makes a property “new”? And most importantly - which ones apply to my property and what does that mean for me?

LEP Plans and Fair Housing

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: HUD reminds us that failure to provide meaningful access to persons with Limited English Proficiency could be a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Why? Because national origin is a protected class. HUD and RD properties are required to periodically look at the LEP profile of their residents and market area and update their plan to provide meaningful access. But even a tax credit or market rate property could be in trouble if LEP persons face barriers to applying. Come to this session and learn what to do about LEP.

Service and Emotional Support Animals

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: The majority of Fair Housing complaints come from Persons with Disabilities, and 60% of those complaints are related to service and emotional support animals. Are you and your staff prepared to handle this challenging issue on site? Find out what HUD says about how to evaluate and approve or deny an applicant’s or resident’s reasonable accommodation request for an assistance animal, about on-line verifications and websites that sell ESA certifications. Learn the steps HUD recommends for processing requests for service versus emotional support animals, requests for animals “commonly kept in households” versus “unique animals” and requests for multiple animals. Learn how to apply the HUD recommendations and handle challenging issues with animals on site.

Reduce Your Risk of Fair Housing Violations in Screening Applicants

Format: On-Site: 1 – 1½ hours or Virtual: 90 minutes

Focus: Violating the fair housing laws does not require an intent to discriminate against a protected class. If the result of the application of your current policies is judged to have a discriminatory effect, good intentions will not save the day. The office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) is laser focused on disparate impact discrimination centering around criminal screening, nuisance ordinances, crime-free programs, domestic violence, and restrictions on sources of income. Meanwhile, 56% of all fair housing complaints filed by tenants and federally funded private agencies are around disability. Learn how your organization’s policies and procedures can be updated to reduce your risk of violating fair housing laws. Attendees will learn how to revise their policies and procedures to minimize risk, provide tools for team members to help them avoid fair housing pitfalls, and ensure consistency and fairness in taking and processing applications.