Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Kearney Housing Agency works diligently to affirmatively further fair housing in its housing programs. This diligence is applied to all Housing programs managed or owned by Kearney Housing Agency, as well as any grant funded programs provided by Kearney Housing Agency to meet the needs of the residents it serves. Kearney Housing Agency researched the Jurisdictions Analysis of Impediments. The July 1, 2005 Analysis of Impediments revealed the following impediments to fair housing choice in the State of Nebraska:
1. There is a general lack of understanding of fair housing law;
2. Violations of fair housing law do occur, particularly in rental markets;
3. Some confusion exists concerning whom to turn to when a violation of fair housing law is alleged to occur, as well as how to access the State’s fair housing complaint system;
4. Areas of the State, outside of Lincoln and Omaha, are underserved by the current housing complaint and enforcement system;
5. Design and construction standards are not adequately understood or consistently implemented;
6. Some minority populations appear to have unusually high home loan denial rates; and,
7. Subprime lenders are offering high home improvement loan amounts for extremely low- income homeowners.

Kearney Housing Agency will continue to further Fair Housing by:

  1. Ensuring all staff are trained on The Fair Housing Amendment Act, The Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the American With Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. This will be done by training all new staff on these laws. Biannual training with all HA staff will be conducted by Kearney Housing Agency administration to review these laws and ensure staff understanding.

  2. Increase applicant and rental residents knowledge of their rights in regards to these laws and fair housing. This would include all public housing programs, as well as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This will be done by providing the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission (NEOC) notice that explains their Fair Housing rights at initial interviews, lease up and recertifications. Phone numbers for HUD, the NEOC, and other agencies that can assist with housing discrimination complaints, will be provided. The Nebraska Landlord Tenant Act will be provided at initial interview, lease up and recertification.

  3. Provide information to applicants, residents and other citizens on whom to contact to get help if they feel they have been discriminated against in their pursuit of housing, or with landlords or realtors. This will be done by posting Fair Housing posters provided by the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission (NEOC) and HUD. Phone numbers for HUD, the NEOC and other agencies that can assist with housing discrimination complaints, will be posted.

  4. Kearney Housing Agency has ensured accessibility to our housing programs and services for applicants and residents by having an accessible administration building, offices, interview rooms, rest rooms and an established process for persons to access who need further accommodations for a disability. Kearney Housing Agency has also ensured that the Public Housing projects managed by Kearney Housing Agency have units that are accessible for those residents who require mobility free units (12 units at our senior complex in Kearney), that also include accommodations for person with visual or hearing impairments. Kearney Housing Agency also has constructed an accessible building for group events, The Pavilion, which is accessible to those who experience mobility challenges.

  5. To conduct outreach to underserved community members so that they are aware of Kearney Housing Agency housing programs PHA has established working relationships with community agencies that may serve minority or at-risk populations. These agencies include the State Health and Human Services office, Community Action Partnership of Mid Nebraska, Workforce Development Center, local domestic violence center, the ARC of Buffalo County, Buffalo County Extension Office, and South Central Area Agency on Aging. At this time it appears Kearney Housing Agency is reaching underserved populations as we serve an ethnically and racially diverse population.

  6. PHA works collaboratively with other community agencies to enhance understanding of credit markets, financing, design and construction standards, through educational efforts targeted to applicants and residents of housing. Kearney Housing Agency is currently members of several community resource groups, including the Buffalo County Community Partners, Housing and Homeless Coalition Work groups, that are focusing on education of the public regarding these issues. Kearney Housing Agency has established a home ownership program for its residents who are interested in homeownership and the information covered in this program includes all aspects of home ownership so that residents are educated about the process and components that go into becoming a home owner.

  7. Kearney Housing Agency has submitted a signed certification to HUD of PHAs intention to comply with:
    • Fair Housing Act
    • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • Age Discrimination Act of 1975
    • Executive Order 11063
    • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  8. Kearney Housing Agency will maintain records on applicants and tenants for at least three years to provide HUD with racial, ethnic, gender and disability status.
  9. Kearney Housing Agency has a posted policy on nondiscrimination, which states that the PHA will not discriminate on the basis of:
    • Race
    • Color
    • Sex
    • Religion
    • Disability
    • Handicap
    • National origin
    • Family status
    • Age

  10. Kearney Housing Agency will improve access to services for persons with limited English proficiency by providing the services of a translator, upon request, for any applicant or resident. A list of translators, provided by the Red Cross, is kept by Kearney Housing Agency staff.