Fair Housing

What is Fair Housing?

Fundamentally, fair housing means that our communities are open and welcoming, free from housing discrimination and hostility. But this also means that each one of us, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability, has access to neighborhoods of opportunity, where our children can attend quality schools, our environment allows us to be healthy, and economic opportunities and self-sufficiency can grow. (HUD.gov)

To learn more about fair housing or find out how to promote fair housing in your community, visit 10 Things You Can Do to Promote Fair Housing.

What are Impediments to Fair Housing Choice?

HUD specifically defines impediments to fair housing choice as:

  1. Any actions, omissions, or decisions taken because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin which restrict housing choices or the availability of housing choices
  2. Any actions, omissions, or decisions that have the effect of restricting housing choices or the availability of housing choices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status or national origin.

Fair Housing and Travis County

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a commitment to eliminate racial and ethnic segregation, physical and other barriers to persons with disabilities, and other discriminatory practices in the provision of housing.

HUD extends the responsibility of affirmatively furthering fair housing to local jurisdictions through a variety of regulations and program requirements.

As an entitlement county receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from HUD, Travis County must fulfill its fair housing responsibilities by developing an Analysis of Impediments (AI) to Fair Housing Choice and by taking actions to overcome the effects identified in the AI through implementation of a Fair Housing Plan (FHP) and maintain records reflecting the analysis and actions taken.

An AI is a review of impediments or barriers that affect the rights of fair housing choice and will serve as the basis for fair housing planning, provide essential information to housing stakeholders and assists in building public support for fair housing efforts. A FHP identifies the actions needed to eliminate fair housing barriers which have been identified.

Since the inception of the County’s CDBG Program, the County operated under the City of Austin’s AI published in 2005. In 2012, the County contracted with the consulting firm Mullins & Lonergan to conduct an AI. The final draft of the AI and Fair Housing Plan were approved by the Travis County Commissioners Court in 2014.

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Travis County participated in a collaborative planning process with nine other local jurisdictions to conduct a regional 2019-2023 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. In addition to Travis County, the participating jurisdictions included the cities of Austin, Round Rock and Pflugerville, Williamson County, and the housing authorities of Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Taylor and Travis County.

In 2016, HUD launched a new approach to identifying fair housing challenges, called the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). This approach encouraged communities to embrace a more comprehensive planning process, focusing on economic, as well as housing barriers. Prior to the AFH, communities accepting federal housing and community development funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were required to complete an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, or AI.

In January 2018, HUD suspended the AFH requirement, reverting to the AI approach. This was done to give communities more time to adjust to the new, AFH format. HUD’s notice on this suspension can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/01/05/2018-00106/affirmatively-furthering-fair-housing-extension-of-deadline-for-submission-of-assessment-of-fair

The Central Texas Fair Housing Assessment proceeded with a Regional AI that includes many aspects of the AFH process. The overall goal of this approach is to help communities improve economic conditions for all residents, in a way that best fits the community.

For more information about the 2019-2023 Fair Housing report, see the report and action plan found in the dropdown menu below.

Plans and Reports

Referral List

To find out more information about fair housing or report discriminating housing practices contact:

Local Organizations

State Agencies

Federal Agencies

equal opportunity

Community Development Block Grant

P.O. Box 1748
Austin, TX 78767

Phone: (512) 854-3460


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