Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beaverton Fair Housing Audit Follow Up; My Editorial Comments.

I did some follow up on the questions I posed in my earlier blog post HERE.  After discussions and a review of the audit related documents my understandings are:
  1. For Beaverton in 2010 there were a total of 70 tests, of those 30 were tests for race or national origin. Of those 30 race or national origin tests, 11 (37%) had positive test results. [Positive means there was evidence of possible discrimination].The 11 positive race and national origin tests in 2010 was the same number of positive results as in 2009, however the percentage was greater (65%) in 2009 as the total number of national origin and race tests in that year was smaller (17).
  2. In the Portland audit in 2010/2011 there were a total of 50 national origin and race tests (25 each), and of those 32 (64%) tests were positive.(15 race and 17 national origin).
  3. Unlike Portland, to my knowledge no one in Beaverton city government has received a log of the actual addresses and owners in either the 2009 or 2010 Fair Housing audits. Not clear to me when Portland received that list of actual properties with positive results, it may have been delivered only upon request after the original audit was completed.
  4. In Beaverton there is no current policy in place, including anything in the current or next years action plan, that would require referral to BOLI of positive Fair Housing audit test results. Because no log has been received and in the absence of a policy, there has been no Beaverton referral to BOLI of the names and locations where testing produced positive findings.
  5. The results from the next Fair Housing Audit are anticipated to be available for Beaverton officials to review in late winter, early spring of 2012. A RFQ for that contract will go out so that testing can be conducted in the fall or early winter of 2011.
  6.  Washington County is in the process of developing an Analysis of Impediments. A Fair Housing Advisory Committee is holding regular meetings which are open to the public to help steer the preparation of this Analysis. If you would like to get on an email list to receive notification and materials you may contact Andrea Nelson at the City of Beaverton (there is a meeting of this group Wednesday that I plan on attending).
  7. I have not followed up with Ashland to determine if any positive outcomes from their testing were referred to BOLI.

My Editorial Comments:
  1. There is no reason I can see why the expectations for referral to BOLI of positive results from Fair Housing audits should be different for the City of Portland vs any other HUD CDBG entitlement community in Metro Portland or in Oregon.  
  2. The current lack of consistent fair housing audit referrals to BOLI provides an opportunity for the development of a Metro [or Statewide] wide solution, uniform testing procedures, and public transparency and tracking of outcomes from positive test results. [This is a good opportunity to include as a task in a future Metro HUD Sustainable Communities planning grant application, but this activity should not be dependent on receiving that grant].
  3. The next Fair Housing audits conducted in Washington County and Beaverton should include a policy of referring positive fair housing test results to BOLI and also insure that testing will provide the level of evidence required for a fair housing referral that is likely to be independently sustained by BOLI on its merits. The RFQ should reflect these requirements.
  4. Referrals to BOLI should not be limited to positive race and national origin test results but should include all protected classes included in the audit.
  5. As an ongoing enforcement and education tool, the BOLI actions/status on all Fair Housing Audit positive referrals should be regularly updated on the web by BOLI and or the agency that funded the fair housing audit. When appropriate, settlements of these cases might including funding of ongoing testing, educational efforts, and affirmative marketing activities.
Additional Documents
Beaverton's 2010 Fair Housing audit results are HERE; 2009 results are HERE.

Beaverton's and Hillsboro's current one year action plan ending June 30th is HERE; Fair Housing actions are outlined on page 126. 

Their draft action plan for FY 2011 is HERE; Fair Housing actions are outlined on page 63.

Feel free to add comments to this post. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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