Defining Equity in Housing
Oregon's Statewide Planning Goal 10 has clear guidelines for meeting the housing needs of the people in the state. Addressing housing needs goes beyond estimating the number of needed units or making them affordable. People have unique housing needs based on their specific circumstances. In addition, Oregon's historically marginalized and underserved populations often face challenges in accessing safe, accessible and affordable housing in the community of their choice due to unfair historic policies and practices.
To address the housing needs of all Oregonians fairly, we need a comprehensive and thoughtful approach. At DLCD, the Housing Division focuses on creating equitable housing outcomes by facilitating housing production, affordability, and choice. This aligns with the Goal 10, principles of fair housing, and the urgent housing needs of Oregonians today. At its core, Goal 10 directs state and local governments to:
production – Make sure that communities in Oregon have vibrant housing markets and offer plenty of housing options, both existing and new.
affordability – Work to lower the cost of buying or renting homes, whether they are market-rate or subsidized-affordable housing. The goal is to make it possible for people at all income levels to afford a place to live in the community they choose.
choice – Support the production of different types of housing, with diverse characteristics and locations. This way, Oregonians can have more options and flexibility in choosing where and how they want to live, based on their individual needs and preferences.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing through Goal 10
For over 300 years, discriminatory housing and land exclusion policies like redlining, segregation, blockbusting, racial steering practices, and much more, have kept communities of color, especially Black individuals, from opportunities to build generational wealth and access affordable and quality housing near good schools, grocery stores, jobs, transportation, and clean air and water. These harmful policies from the past are still deeply felt in communities today.
In 1968, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act to end housing discrimination. It included a provision called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), aiming to challenge the past and present unfair housing policies, and create a future where everyone can have a safe and stable home.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires recipients of federal funds to take "meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected class (race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status, and disability)."
In 2020, LCDC adopted new rules that require all Oregon cities with populations of 10,000 or more to affirmatively further fair housing through their Housing Production Strategy (HPS). Oregon's requirement to AFFH has positively impacted housing planning in several ways:
- Expanding on the federal obligation that applies to HUD funded projects, ensuring more cities take an active role in addressing fair housing issues and integrating fair housing principles into their planning.
- Ensuring land use planning departments play an active role in identifying and addressing fair housing issues going forward.
- Integrating fair housing principles into housing planning.
- Calling on cities to take concrete, if small steps to address issues that contribute to housing disparities, segregation, and uneven access to opportunity, including community assets.
The Housing Production Strategy must achieve fair and equitable housing outcomes in six areas, including affirmatively further fair housing. It also considers housing options for people experiencing homelessness; gentrification, displacement, and housing stability; and the creation of compact, mixed-use neighborhood to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Meaningful implementation of Goal 10 through the HPS can help us address housing disparities and foster inclusive and equitable communities. DLCD Housing Division considers this a core value and guiding principle/
An equity framework is a tool used to assess how policies impact communities of color and other under-served groups. The DLCD Housing Division recognizes the importance of addressing systemic policies that disproportionately affect marginalized populations as they work to increase housing opportunities for Oregonians.,/p>
The equity framework helps identify potential harmful impacts of well-intended policies. It brings a critical perspective that helps DLCD center equity in both the process and goals. This framework guides DLCD housing staff and contractors to examine their values, tactics, assumptions, and priorities, enabling them to shift outcomes from harmful to equitable.