WASHINGTON, DC – January 4, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Marin County, California today announced an agreement to promote access and overcome barriers to affordable housing for minorities and persons with disabilities throughout the County. A recent HUD review disclosed that Marin County had failed to meet its Fair Housing obligations in its use and expenditure of HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME funds.
“This agreement increases Marin’s accountability to its residents and to HUD to carry out its Fair Housing obligations and document that its programs serve everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or disability,” said HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña.
Under the terms of the Voluntary Compliance Agreement (VCA) announced today, Marin County officials will:
- Work together with agencies and private developers to ensure that affordable housing development opportunities will be affirmatively marketed to low income minority and disabled persons;
- Conduct a study to identify and overcome Fair Housing barriers, such as community resistance to fair housing choice in neighborhoods and the continued development of low income affordable housing in neighborhoods with high minority concentrations;
- Create an outreach plan so that the views of low income residents, particularly disabled persons, racial and ethnic minorities and families are included in public meetings where the County will discuss and solicit input on which low income neighborhoods and public activities they will select to spend their HUD funds and meet their responsibility to affirmatively further fair housing;
- Hold all meetings associated with the administration of HUD funds in facilities that are fully accessible to persons with disabilities; and
- Develop a Language Assistance Plan which will require the development of documents and announcements in non-English languages for those persons with limited English speaking proficiency, so they can learn about and participate in HUD-funded low income affordable housing programs and public service activities.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.