That's the vision, but how can we make it a reality? The City of Independence is studying what actions we can take to help residents meet their housing needs.
Over the next few months, we'll collect data about housing in our city. We'll examine difficult issues, such as racial and ethnic segregation, concentrated areas of poverty, and challenges facing people with disabilities or limited English proficiency. We'll also look at areas of opportunity and listen to residents to learn about their priorities. In October, we'll publish a plan with other regional cities called the Assessment of Fair Housing. This plan will have recommendations and strategies for fair housing for all residents.
Input from residents is a critical part of developing a strong fair housing plan. We'll provide plenty of opportunities for you to share ideas about housing and tell us what's most important to you. We'll host community meetings this summer and use social media to engage in a community conversation about housing.
As part of its Community Development Block Grant obligations, the City of Independence is required to submit an Assessment of Furthering Fair Housing to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The City and other communities are working with the Mid-America Regional Council to assist with the assessment.
MARC will work with the City to gather data, analyze and present required plan elements:
MARC will work with City staff to conduct a series of meetings, including public meetings, presentations to community groups and social media interaction. City staff will keep the Mayor and City Council informed throughout the process.
Upcoming Public Meetings (PDF)
The Fair Housing Plan will include a review of regional trends in addition to City-specific information. Other communities working on the plan include the city of Leavenworth, Kansas, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, and the cities of Blue Springs and Kansas City in Missouri.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in housing because of:
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discriminatory practices based upon race or color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability in the sale of housing, rental of housing, and mortgage lending.
The Fair Housing Act covers most housing. In some circumstances the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing means taking meaningful actions to address significant disparities in housing needs and access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.