It is the policy of the Lakeland Housing Authority to provide services without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, familial status, physical handicap or disability.
AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING
I hereby certify that the Lakeland Housing Authority complies with all Fair Housing laws, statutes, regulations and executive orders as enumerated in 24CFR and Section 808 (e)(5) of the Fair Housing Act.
Lakeland Housing Authority has examined its programs, identified any impediments to fair housing choice in those programs, addressed or is addressing those impediments in a reasonable fashion in view of the resources available, and worked or is working with local jurisdictions to implement any of the jurisdictions’ initiatives to affirmatively further fair housing that require the PHA’s involvement.
It is the policy of the Lakeland Housing Authority to comply fully with all Federal, State, and local non discrimination laws; the Americans With Disabilities Act; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations governing Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, familial status, or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under the Lakeland Housing Authority housing programs.
To further its commitment to full compliance with applicable Civil Rights laws, the Lakeland Housing Authority will provide Federal/State/local information to applicants for and participants in the Section 8 Housing Program regarding discrimination and any recourse available to them if they believe they may be victims of discrimination. Such information will be made available with the application, and all applicable Fair Housing Information and Discrimination Complaint Forms will be made available at the Lakeland Housing Authority office. In addition, all appropriate written information and advertisements will contain the appropriate Equal Opportunity language and logo.
The Lakeland Housing Authority will assist any family that believes they have suffered illegal discrimination by providing them copies of the Housing discrimination form. The Lakeland Housing Authority will also assist them in completing the form, if requested, and will provide them with the address of the nearest HUD Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
The Lakeland Housing Authority will publicize the availability and nature of the Section 8 Program for extremely low-income, very low and low-income families in a newspaper of general circulation, minority media, and by other suitable means.
The Lakeland Housing Authority will communicate the status of program availability to other service providers in the community and advise them of housing eligibility factors and guidelines so that they can make proper referral of their clients to the program.
The Lakeland Housing Authority will hold briefings for owners who participate in or who are seeking information about the Section 8 Program. The briefing is intended to:
- Explain how the program works;
- Explain how the program benefits owners;
- Explain owners’ responsibilities under the program. Emphasis is placed on quality screening and ways the Lakeland Housing Authority helps owners do better screening; and
- Provide an opportunity for owners to ask questions, obtain written materials, and meet Lakeland Housing Authority staff.
The Lakeland Housing Authority will particularly encourage owners of suitable units located outside of low-income or minority concentration to attend. Targeted mailing lists will be developed and announcements mailed.
The Lakeland Housing Authority will post, in each of its offices in a conspicuous place and at a height easily read by all persons including persons with mobility disabilities, the following information:
- The Section 8 Administrative Plan;
- Notice of the status of the waiting list (opened or closed);
- Address of all Lakeland Housing Authority offices, office hours, telephone numbers, TDD numbers, and hours of operation;
- Income Limits for Admission;
- Informal Review and Informal Hearing Procedures;
- Fair Housing Poster; and
- Equal Opportunity in Employment Poster
LHA will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000(d)) and regulations pursuant thereto (Title 24 CFR part I), which state that no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the applicant receives Federal financial assistance, and will immediately take any measures necessary to effectuate this agreement. With reference to the real property and structure(s) thereon which are provided or improved with the aid of Federal financial assistance extended to the applicant, this assurance shall obligate the applicant, or in the case of any transfer, transferee, for the period during which the real property and structure(s) are used for a purpose for which the Federal financial assistance is extended or for another purpose involving the provision of similar services or benefits.
LHA will comply with the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601-19), as amended, and with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 100, which prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin.
LHA will comply with Executive Order 11063 on Equal Opportunity in Housing and with implementing regulations at 24 CFR Part 107 which prohibit discrimination because of race, color, creed, sex or national origin in housing and related facilities provided with Federal financial assistance.
LHA will comply with Executive Order 11246 and all regulations pursuant thereto (41 CFR Chapter 601), which state that no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin in all phases of employment during the performance of Federal contracts and shall take affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunity. The applicant will incorporate, or cause to be incorporated, into any contract for construction work as defined in Section 130.5 of HUD regulations the equal opportunity clause required by Section 130.15(b) of the HUD regulations.
LHA will comply with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1701(u)), and regulations pursuant thereto (24 CFR Part 135), which require that to the greatest extent feasible opportunities for training and employment be given to lower-income residents of the project and contracts for work in connection with the project be awarded in substantial part to persons residing in the area of the project.
LHA will comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), as amended, and with implementing regulations at 24 CFR Part 8, which prohibit discrimination based on disability in Federally-assisted and conducted programs and activities.
LHA will comply with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101-07), as amended, and implementing regulations at 24 CFR Part 146, which prohibit discrimination because of age in projects and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.
LHA will comply with Executive Orders 11625, 12432, and 12138, which state that program participants shall take affirmative action to encourage participation by businesses owned and operated by members of minority groups and women.
If persons of any particular race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, familial status, or disability who may qualify for assistance are unlikely to be reached, it will establish additional procedures to ensure that interested persons can obtain information concerning the assistance.
LHA will comply with the reasonable modification and accommodation requirements and, as appropriate, the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
LHA is working with the City of Lakeland to eliminate the City’s impediments to Fair Housing. The City of Lakeland’s actions to correct impediments to fair housing are as follows:
Discrimination Based on Race/National Origin or Disability
The City will ensure that any complaints that are received are forwarded to HUD for investigation. In addition, the City will take the following actions to raise public awareness on this issue.
- Proclaim February of each year Fair Housing Month. Display fair housing posters in all public buildings (ongoing).
- Print and distribute (in English/Spanish) fair housing bookmarkers in their library.
- Provide HUD’s Fair Housing Complaint forms at City offices and the library.
- Contact the Board of Realtors and the apartment managers’ association to volunteer to participate in fair housing training at their meetings, symposiums, and housing events.
- Continue the practice of providing Fair Housing information at a “both” at public events and symposiums. (ongoing)
The City will continue to provide education and outreach to landlords, property owners, realtors, developers, banks and non-profit organizations who provide or develop affordable housing. In addition, the City will continue to seek ways to assist developers and all of those involved in affordable housing in locating land, providing waivers of fees, grants and low interest loans and technical assistance to encourage the development of affordable housing and compliance with fair housing laws. Any agreements executed with affordable housing providers will incorporate the requirements of the equal opportunity and fair housing laws.
Financial Plan for Accomplishment
The City will continue to set aside funds each year from its entitlement grant to fund Fair Housing activities on an annual basis.
Mechanism for Updates
The Housing Program Office is the lead contact agency, and as such maintains up to date information on all changes of federal, state and local rules. This office will maintain and keep track of changes in legislation and any required applicable actions to ensure compliance with HUD goals and rules.
Commitment from Local Officials
The City Commission through both its proclamation and funding will provide proof of its commitment to fair housing.
This certification is hereby dated January 2nd, 2008
Herbert Hernandez, Executive Director