Last week, President Biden signed an Executive Order instructing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reaffirm its commitment to enforce the Fair Housing Act.
The Executive Order entitled, “Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies,” was signed on January 26, 2020 to redouble efforts to promote fair housing for all in America.
RALNA supports fair housing for all people, and we are encouraged by this reaffirmed commitment to eliminate discrimination and ensure fair housing practices are promoted throughout the nation.
One specific note in the Executive Order concerning housing for the disabled, stated, “Although Federal fair housing laws were expanded to include protections for individuals with disabilities, a lack of access to affordable and integrated living options remains a significant problem.”
The new administration intends to remedy this issue with its resolve to take action to ensure fair housing and also to enforce the mandates of the Fair Housing Act.
“Accordingly, it is the policy of my Administration that the Federal Government shall work with communities to end housing discrimination, to provide redress to those who have experienced housing discrimination, to eliminate racial bias and other forms of discrimination in all stages of home-buying and renting, to lift barriers that restrict housing and neighborhood choice, to promote diverse and inclusive communities, to ensure sufficient physically accessible housing, and to secure equal access to housing opportunity for all.”
The Executive Order instructs HUD re-examine rules that were recently put in place by the Trump Administration to roll back fair housing protections.
It remains to be seen what this new order and the changes that will come with it will bring. But, as residential assisted living owners and operators who regularly work with disabled or marginalized groups, there is reason to be optimistic about the future.
This decisive federal policy position seems to reaffirm for state and local governments as well as private associations like HOA’s, that fair housing is an incredibly important value that this country holds.
In the meantime, private organizations like the Residential Assisted Living Association will still need to take the lead, educating state and local municipalities and HOA’s about the need and benefits of small home care models in communities.
This Executive Order has set the tone for inclusivity and will likely be a driving force to help break down the barriers that can make it difficult for RAL homes to be included in many neighborhoods.
Along with increased enforcement of fair housing practices this order also suggests that more HUD and Department of Justice resources will be available to address violations of fair housing practices. For example, when HOA’s and local municipalities fail to grant reasonable accommodations necessary for the disabled to live in single-family neighborhoods.
As the effects of this and any other legislation unfold, we will continue to provide regular updates to Residential Assisted Living National Association members. Our goal is to inform and support the owners and operators of residential assisted living homes across the nation and to raise the level of care provided to our seniors.
Click here to read the Executive Order.