Detailed Information on the
Fair Housing Initiatives Program Assessment

Program Code 10002186
Program Title Fair Housing Initiatives Program
Department Name Dept of Housing & Urban Develp
Agency/Bureau Name Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Program Type(s) Competitive Grant Program
Assessment Year 2004
Assessment Rating Results Not Demonstrated
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 75%
Program Management 70%
Program Results/Accountability 42%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $20
FY2008 $24
FY2009 $26

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

A database has been developed to better track the performance of Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) grantees. When applying for FHIP grants, applicants are required to complete a logic model that links activities to performance and anticipated outcomes. Successful applicants are required to submit deliverables to support the achievement of outcomes described. Current performance measures will be enhanced and new measures will be added as data is analyzed from the new database.

Action taken, but not completed A database has been developed to better track the performance of Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) grantees. When applying for FHIP grants, applicants are required to complete a logic model that links activities to performance and anticipated outcomes. Successful applicants are required to submit deliverables to support the achievement of outcomes described. Current performance measures will be enhanced and new measures will be added as data is analyzed from the new database.

HUD has implemented a Resource Center that will improve training for Fair Housing Initiatives Program staff to provide clear and consistent guidance and increase technical assistance provided to program grantees. The Center is designed to provide training for HUD FHIP grant monitors on OMB and HUD criteria for grant management. The Center will also provide uniform training to HUD staff to improve the quality and consistency of technical assistance provided to FHIP grantees.

Action taken, but not completed A Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) Information Resource Center has been developed. The center is designed to provide training for FHIP grant monitors on OMB and HUD criteria for grant management. The center will also provide uniform training to HUD staff to improve the quality and consistency of technical assistance provided to FHIP grantees.

HUD has designed and implemented a database that provides a standardized way to monitor and report on grantee activities and outcomes. Grantee activities are currently being tracked and analyzed.

Action taken, but not completed A database has been developed and implemented for grant activities to be reported and analyzed.

Fair Housing Initiative Program grantees will increase activities to promote public awareness and enforcement of fair lending.

Action taken, but not completed HUD included a predatory lending grant in its FY2006 Fair Housing Initiative Program Education and Outreach Initiative grant funding. Although no applications were received for this component both Education Outreach and Private Enforcement Initiative grantees are promoting enforcement of fair lending by addressing discriminatory lending practices and predatory lending practices in their activities. Performance measures will be developed to track awareness and enforcement of fair lending.

HUD will establish greater transparency and accountability from Fair Housing Initiative Program grantees. An improvement plan will be developed for HUD website to incorporate activities of individual grantees. This plan will include links to grantees, goals achieved, and applicable performance improvement plans.

Action taken, but not completed The announcement of awards of Fair Housing Initiative Program (FHIP) grants are routinely published on the HUD and the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) websites. The names and address of grantee organizations are available through the FHEO website. FHEO is currently compiling weblinks of grantees to publish to the office's website for easier access to grantees by the public.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percentage of consistently unfair treatment towards minorities (blacks, hispanics, and asians) over whites in paired testing for rental and sales markets

Explanation:This measure supports FHEO's new strategic objective to "increase access to rental and sales housing through enforcement efforts". The baseline for this measure is the Housing Discrimination Study 2000, which tracks the reduction of consistent white-favored treatment over minorities in paired testing for the rental and sales housing markets. NOTE (*): The 2000 and 2010 figures have an adjusted baseline to include treatment towards Asians to reflect changing market conditions.

Year Target Actual
1989 N/A 26.6%
2000 24.6% 21.0%
2010 22.6%
Annual Output

Measure: At least 30 percent of cases processed by FHIP agencies will be settled through formal agreements of the parties to the complaint

Explanation:The Fair Housing Act encourages conciliation/settlement efforts to last throughout the investigation of a complaint. FHIP agencies may file potential fair housing complaints with HUD, state and local certified fair housing agencies, or FHIPs may file cases on behalf of an aggrieved party on their own in state, local or federal court. When parties to a fair housing complaint are able to reach conciliation all parties have agreed to an appropriate resolution of the dispute.

Year Target Actual
2001 30% 30%
2002 30% 42%
2003 30% 40%
2004 30% 42%
2005 30% 42%
2006 30% 48%
2007 30% 48%
2008 30%
2009 30%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: The average dollar amount of Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) funding used to investigate and prepare complaints referred to HUD and FHAP agencies (state and local agencies certified by HUD) reflects an effective and efficient use of funds

Explanation:FHIP agencies that receive PEI grant funding conduct testing and other "pre" investigative activities before cases are referred to HUD or HUD certified partner agencies. Although the average cost can vary because of geographic variables and the number and complexity of testing, average cost of case preparation is an important measure.

Year Target Actual
2001 N/A $17,733
2002 N/A $19,829
2003 N/A $15,814
2004 N/A $13,892
2005 N/A $2,362
2006 $3,000 $2,362
2007 $3,000 $2,362
2008 $3,000
2009 $3,000
Annual Efficiency

Measure: The average dollar amount of Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) funding expended per person served reflects an effective and efficient use of funds

Explanation:EOI grantees conduct a variety of outreach activities that are designed to inform the public of their rights under the Fair Housing Act. This measure tracks the average expenditure per person served on these activities.

Year Target Actual
2003 N/A $2.55
2004 N/A $2.35
2005 $24.62 $7.59
2006 $26.25 $16.75
2007 $26.25 $16.75
2008 $25.25
2009 $25.25
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Increase the average percentage of multifamily projects in the field that conform to the seven design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act

Explanation:In order to increase knowledge of the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act, the Education and Outreach Initiative provides extensive training across the nation for architects and other building and industry professionals.

Year Target Actual
2003 67% 88%
2007 67% 88%
2011 68%
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Increase the percentage of the general public who can correctly identify six or more of the eight scenarios describing illegal conduct as unlawful

Explanation:This measure supports all fair housing agencies' collective mission to promote public awareness of fair housing laws. The mission is accomplished through education and outreach and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. The baseline for this measure comes from findings in HUD's 2001 study, "How Much Do We Know?" Every five years the study is repeated to determine the effectiveness of education and outreach and enforcement efforts.

Year Target Actual
2001 51% 51%
2006 51% 50%
2011 51%

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) was established by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (amended 1992) to provide funding to public and private entities formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices. FHIP supports projects and activities designed to enhance compliance with the Act and substantially equivalent State and local laws prohibiting housing discrimination. The FHIP program is divided into three initiatives: the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI), for qualifying private fair housing groups to sponsor new organizations or to expand their services by opening new offices; the Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI), which provides grants for testing and enforcement to qualifying private fair housing groups; and the Education and Outreach initiative (EOI), which provides grants to organizations to develop, implement, carry-out, or coordinate education and outreach programs designed to inform members of the public of their rights and obligations under the Fair Housing Act.

Evidence: The Fair Housing Initiatives Program is authorized under Section 561 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 (42 U.S.C 3616(a), amended 1992). The purpose of the FHIP is further outlined in the program regulations at 24 CFR, Part 125

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest or need?

Explanation: Program seeks to address housing discrimination by administering laws that prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status

Evidence: HUD's Housing Discrimination Study, which has been conducted in 1977, 1989, and 2000, demonstrates that national rates of discrimination remain consistantly high. In 1996, HUD conducted a study of public awareness of fair housing laws, "How Much Do We Know?", and determined that in a national survey, approximity 14 percent of the general American public (about 28 million people) have experienced discrimination in their lifetime. Of that 14 percent, only 17 percent of those discriminated against took action, including 3 percent who sought help from a government agency.

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: The FHIP program provides necessary base funding for non-profit groups to conduct fair housing activities in the areas of education and outreach, private testing and enforcement, and capacity building to increase the number of eligible groups. Private fair housing groups may also receive additional funding for fair housing activities from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds provided through their State and local governments. In 2003, State and entitlement communities reported approximately $17 million in CDBG dollars used to support fair housing activities in their communities, which is less than 1% of the total reported use of funds by CDBG receipients. The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division also conducts testing and enforcement for systematic "patterns and practices" through their Fair Housing Testing program under the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section.

Evidence: The program is designed to allow private entities seek funding for activites under the Federal Fair Housing Act through the annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process. Grant receipients can receive funding to conduct private enforcement, including complaint intake, investigations, and testing, as well as education and outreach activities to increase public awareness of housing discrimination and the Fair Housing Act. Fair housing groups must reapply for grant money every year, regardless of past performance. Fair housing groups are not allowed to apply for multiple funding streams under the program regulations, which limits the efforts of fair housing activities. For example, a fair housing group can receive a PEI grant, however, they cannot also apply for a EOI grant, and only a small portion of the PEI grant may be used for education and outreach activities. Grantees and advocates have raised concerns that this process creates funding instablities which impact the continued quality of fair housing group deliverables, and does not allow for systematic testing or other long-term initiatives to take place. FHEO has proposed rewarding high performing FHIP agencies with 3 year grants under the PEI component to address concerns raised about steady funding streams.

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: FHEO has sought to address program flaws through its program regulations and its annual NOFA process. For example, a few years ago, FHEO did not track complaints referred by FHIP agencies. The annual NOFA application now includes a mandatory referral requirement, as well as guidance for a "recommended reporting format" for FHIP reporting of complaint outcomes and results. The TEAPOTS case management system has also been updated to include a field for tracking FHIP referred cases and will soon be able to track referrals by specific FHIP grantees. FHEO uses this information to montior and assess FHIP grantee performance.

Evidence: The design of the FHIP program has several strengths: (1) Single point of contact. The Fair Housing Act is designed to provide both complainants and respondents flexibility on how to handle complaints so both parties feel that the process has been fair. FHIP plays an important role in this process by offering a single point of contact that is free for complainants to understand their rights and choices under the law. The FHIP agency can also help determine which approach, whether filing a complaint with HUD or through a civil action suit makes the most sense in their case. From HUD's standpoint, FHIP agencies can also weed out cases that have no merit. (2) Immediate Testing. By directly taking complaints to a FHIP agency with PEI resources, a FHIP agency may conduct a fair housing test immediately as part of investigating a case, a tool not largely available through complaints filed with HUD or FHAP agencies. An immediate test is the most effective and compelling cooroborative evidence to validate a complaint of discrimination. (3) Accountability. Because FHIP funding resources are limited and HUD places a strong emphasis on past performance when awarding its annual grants through the NOFA process, only the best agencies regularly receive unding, ensuring a high level of effectiveness and efficiency. (4) Included in the 2003-2004 NOFA process the Logic Model will begin to assist HUD in measuring a grantees outcome and output results.

YES 20%

Is the program effectively targeted, so that resources will reach intended beneficiaries and/or otherwise address the program's purpose directly?

Explanation: Competitive grants process allows FHIP agencies to receive funding based upon strength and ranking of applications. Criteria include: (a) A description of the practice (or practices) that has affected adversely the achievement of the goal of fair housing, and that will be addressed by the applicant's proposed activities. (b) A description of the specific activities proposed to be conducted with FHIP funds including the final product(s) and/or any reports to be produced; the cost of each activity proposed; and a schedule for completion of the proposed activities. (c) A description of the applicant's experience in formulating or carrying out programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices. (d) An estimate of public or private resources that may be available to assist the proposed activities. (e) A description of the procedures to be used for monitoring conduct and assessing results of the proposed activities. (f) A description of the benefits that successful completion of the project will produce to enhance fair housing, and the indicators by which these benefits are to be measured. (g) A description of the expected long term viability of project results. (h) Any additional information that may be required by a Notice of Funding Availability published in the Federal Register.

Evidence: General program criteria are outlined in the program regulations at 24 CFR Part 125. A NOFA for Fair Housing Initiatives Program activities may include requirements for activities that focus on particular groups or needs. For example, the 2003 and 2004 NOFAs included funding opportunities for national media campaigns under the Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI).

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: The program's long-term measures focus on activities that are fundamental to the work of FHEO. The overarching goal of all of FHEO's operations and programs is to reduce housing discrimination. FHEO's long-term measures support the program's strategic objectives, which are: (1) increase access to rental and sales housing through enforcement efforts by FHIPs and FHAP; (2) promote public awareness of fair housing laws; and (3) improve housing accessibility for persons with disabilities. Three studies provide measures which demonstrate reductions in housing discrimination. FHIP grantees support these effort through the private enforcement initiative (PEI), the education and outreach initiative (EOI), and the training of housing professionals in accessibility requirements through the Accessibility FIRST training program.

Evidence: FHEO has revised their strategic objectives, as outlined in the annual Strategic Plan, the annual Performance Plan, and the annual Management Plan, to show stronger and to present program achievement to support its long-term outcome measure of "Ensuring Equal Opportunity in Housing." Three studies provide baselines for FHEO's long-term measures. The Housing Discrimination Study, which is conducted every ten years, shows a reduction in instances of white-favored treatment over minorities in the rental and sales markets since 1989. The "How Much Do We Know?" study tracks rates of public awareness in fair housing laws. In 2001, 51% of the general public could identify six or more scenarios (out of eight) describing discriminatory conduct as illegal. In 2003, HUD issued a study on "Multifamily Building Conformance with the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines," which examines the percentage of existing multifamily housing units and architectual plans of multifamily units under development which meet the Fair Housing Act's standards for accessibility for persons with disabilities. The study concluded that 88% of existing multifamily units meet the Act's accessibility standards.

YES 12%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: The baselines for the annual strategic measures are established through studies conducted every 5 to 10 years. Discrimination is a difficult phenonmenon to meausure, and studies must rely on testing or surveys to demonstrate reduced instances of discrimination. Discrimination cannot be adequetely measured through controlled trials. The baselines for FHEO's measures the level of housing discrimination through reductions in the number of instances where one group (whites) are favored over other groups (as shown in HDS 2000) as well as increased awareness by the general public of situations which violate fair housing laws (as shown in the "How Much Do We Know?" study). FHEO is able to demonstrated steady progress, given the methodological difficulties in capturing discrimination.

Evidence: The major long-term indicator is a reduction in housing discrimination. Change in the levels of incidents of discriminatory behavior has been measured through the Housing Discrimination Studies. Between 1977 and 1989, HUD found no significant difference in the rates of white-favored treatment over minorities in the rental and housing markets. The Fair Housing Act was amended in 1988, and the FHAP program was established. Between 1989 and 2000, a reduction of several percentage points occured, with whites being favored in fewer instances over Blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. By 2010, if another national study of housing discrimination is funded, HUD's goal is a further reduction in white favoritism over minorities in both rental and sales from the 2000 levels. The next study to measure the public's awareness of fair housing through the "How Much Do We Know?" study will be in 2005, and HUD's goal is to see an increase in a "high" level of awareness from 51% in 2001 to 60% in 2005.

YES 12%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: As part of the PART review process, FHEO has developed new output performance measures to fully reflect FHIP grantee contributions to FHEO's annual performance goals. For the past few years, FHEO has tracked a limited number of annual performance measures that focus on FHIP receipient activities as part of its its annual performance measures, although the activities of FHIP grantees support all three strategic objective measures. These new measures add more insight into FHIP grantee contributions to enforcement efforts. As part of the 2003 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for FHIP grants, FHEO required grant applicants to develop outcome and output measures as part of the Department's Logic Model. FHEO should examine ways to use the performance information collected through the Logic Model to further develop its annual output measures for FHIP activities.

Evidence: Advocates, researchers, and FHIP grant receipients have all sought to address the issue of annual performance measures for the FHIP program. Advocates and researchers have noted that the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program requires State and entitlement community receipients to track fair housing activities using specific codes. In 2002, CDBG grantees reported $20 million in fair housing activities. FHEO includes a recommended reporting format for FHIP activities as part of the reporting requirements outlined in the NOFA, as well as holding FHIP grantees accountable for outcome and output measures in the Logic Model. FHEO should continue to develop annual measures, including efficiency measures, to determine the impact of such FHIP activities as the number of tests conducted by a FHIP grantee using FHIP funds, and the cost of investigations which used FHIP funding.

NO 0%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: FHEO must continue to develop baselines and target levels for all of its outputs for FHIP activities. FHEO has also recently developed efficiency measures for the FHIP program, and should use these measures to refine annual targets and to make them more ambitious. For example, one output measure seeks to "provide target classes under the Federal Fair Housing Act with increased access to sale and rental housing without discrimination by completing at least 1,200 fair housing conciliation/settlement agreements in FY 2004." However, neither the Department's Strategic or Annual Performance Plans explain why 1,200 conciliations/settlements was chosen as a target number or what impact this measure will have on achiving the program's long-term outcome goals.

Evidence: Advocates, such as the National Fair Housing Alliance, and studies, such as the "Reconstructing Fair Housing" study conducted by the National Council on Disability, recommend different output measures for tracking FHIP grantee performance than FHEO currently uses. For example, both advocates and FHIP grant receipients agree that FHEO should track the number of workshops or classes held on fair housing laws by FHIP grantees, as well as the number of workshop/class attendees. FHEO should continue to develop output measures and efficency measures that fully reflect FHIP grantee performance, contributions, and activities and make more information on FHIP performance available to the public. Some measures reflect Department-wide political priorities more than trend analysis. For example, one distinct measure for FHIPs is actually targeted for those FHIP grant receipients who work with the largely non-English speaking Latino population in the Southwestern United States. The measure seeks to "increase the number of fair housing complaints identified by FHIP partners in the Southweat border region by 5 percent." However, the actual results for this measure show a flat 2% increase in complaints for the past 3 years. While political measures do contribute towards reducing housing discrimination, FHEO must also use trend analysis to determine other groups or issues which should be annually monitored.

NO 0%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: FHEO instituted the Logic Model as part of the 2003 NOFA to increase grantee reporting on output and outcome measures. FHEO's revisions to its annual performance measures will also increase awareness of FHIP grantee contributions to all of FHEO's strategic objectives and outcome goals.

Evidence: Given its recent implementation, FHEO has limited data from the Logic Model, and will not be able to identify grantee progress or make program decisions with this information for a few more quarters. FHEO has developed new output measures for FHIP, particularly in the area of FHIP contributions to enforcement, as part of the PART review. FHEO should continue to develop these measures and to use information on grantee performance from the Logic Model to further refine its measures.

YES 12%

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: A 1994 independent "Evaluation of the FHIP Private Enforcement Initiative Testing Demonstration" provided an intensive study of the 31 fair housing groups and complaints processed by the groups between 4/1/1989 and 3/31/1991, representing 85% of all complaints filed during that time period with private groups. The key finding from the study was that "tests conducted objectively and professionally yield the most credible evidence". The evaluation argues against specific guidelines for testing, finding that "testing practices and procedures are ... largely dicated by the indiosyncrasies of each fair housing complaint situation." The importance of FHIP funding to private fair housing groups was to "significantly increase both the quantity and quality of complaint processing" and enable "grantees to improve their tester recruitment and training processes, to provide increased oversight and monitoring testers' behavior, and to test larger numbers of complaint cases". While the FHIP program continues to do the basic same activities validated by the 1994 study, the program has expanded so FHEO will be requesting a process evaluation by PD&R for its FY 2005 research agenda.

Evidence: General awareness studies, primarily HUD's 2001 study, "How Much Do We Know?" examine the role that the FHIP Education and Outreach program has on general public awareness; presents baselines for public awareness of fair housing laws, and is used to establish baselines for two of FHEO's strategic objectives. However, this evaluation measures general public awareness, rather than trainings or educational opportunities provided by FHIP grantees, and it makes no recommendations for how FHIP program resources should be targeted to address concerns about the limited public awareness of fair housing laws. The National Council on Disability published a study in 2001, "Reconstructing Fair Housing," which examined FHIP grantee activities as they related to oversight of the disability protections of the Federal Fair Housing Act. This study makes recommendations for improving tracking of FHIP grantee performance data. In addition, the National Fair Housing Alliance (an advocate for their member FHIPs) and some academic studies have looked at the larger social-economic aspects of the activities of FHIP grantees, specifically the number of FHIP-referred cases within the HUD TEAPOTS system. However, none of these reports have been used to improve program management or performance.

YES 12%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: FHIP budget requests are tied to policy initiatives determined by its annual strategic objectives. For example, as a result of the HDS 2000 study, FHEO has made $2 million in grant funding available through the NOFA process for FHIPs to conduct follow-up testing and enforcement based upon HDS 2000 results. For enforcement, there is substantial evidence that fair housing testing is an extremely important tool for identifying cases of discrimination and FHIP is the primary mechanism for HUD to investigate fair housing complaints through testing and the only governmental funding stream that supports fair housing testing in most communities.

Evidence: Budget information for FHIP can be found in the President's Budget.

YES 12%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: HUD's Office of Policy, Development and Research (PD&R) commissioned a comprehensive study of the impact of the PEI Program on enforcement efforts in 1994. Overwhelmingly, the study documents that testing is one of the most effective means of recording incidents of housing discrimination for purposes of enforcement albeit complaint based or systemic. The findings of that study prove to be valid to date based on the increased number of qualified fair housing groups that receive funding; the reduction in the incidents of discrimination based upon the 2001 HDS study which utilized the results of the 1989 HDS study as a baseline and the increased monetary settlements using FHIP dollars. Additionally, the program is developing efficiency measures to track program improvement on an on-going basis. However, HUD needs to evaluate clearer ways to demonstrate FHIP grantee contributions as being directly responsible for outcomes shown in the HDS 2000 and "How Much Do We Know?" studies.

Evidence: FHIP grantees have raised concerns about the Logic Model and FHEO's methods of tracking FHIP grantee contributions. FHIP grantees are also concerned about the instability of FHIP funding from year to year through the grant process, and have recommended that FHEO consider the use of multi-year funding for all FHIP grants. FHEO is currently considering the use of multi-year funding to reward high performing FHIP PEI grantees. FHEO is also developing a system to track grantee accomplishments of Logic Model performance measures.

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 75%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: FHEO conducts annual performance assessments of its FHIP grantees. The assessment is used to determine whether an agency can apply for upcoming FHIP funds and affects the scoring of the application submitted for FHIP funding. The performance assessments provide a score of the grantees ability to exercise quality project management; submit quality and timely project deliverables; and document the projects activities and outcomes in accordance with the approved statement of work.

Evidence: Annual submissions of Grantee Performance Rating Reviews and Risk Assessments from field offices. However, represenatatives from FHAP agencies noted in informal discussions that they do not preceive FHIP agencies as being held to the same accountability standards as FHAP agencies. However, HUD staff state that FHIP agencies who receive grants are evaluated on their performance each year, and only agencies that received an "Excellent" or "Fair" rating are eligible to compete for funding in the next NOFA period. Agencies which receive a rating of "Poor" are not eligible for any funding in the next NOFA competition period.

YES 10%

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: All of FHEO's program partners are required to adhere to the performance measures established in the Performance Assessment Review. For purposes of ensuring that grantees are held accountable for cost, schedules and performance results, HUD requires grantees to submit quarterly reports and payment requests. The Government Technical Representative reviews the quarterly reports to determine if technical assistance is needed and to approve the deliverables for payment. As part of their annual NOFA application, FHIP grantees are required to submit a statement of work with deliverables and timelines, as well as providing measurable outcomes and outputs to determine the success of the project through the submission of a Logic Model, based on the Department's Logic Model.

Evidence: The criteria for FHIP grantees from the program regulations are outlined in Question 1.2, as well as the annual NOFA process.

YES 10%

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: FHEO's unobligated funds are significant from year to year largely as a result of the division's participation in the SuperNOFA process and timely grantee negotiations. However, there are no audit findings indicating that funds have not been spent for their intended purpose.

Evidence: FY 2004 Funds Distribution Plan and related Guidance Documents. Monthly obligation/expenditure reports.

NO 0%

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The FHIP Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) grant application requires applicants to submit Statements of Work (SOWs) that outline grantee deliverables and outcomes. The Logic Model, introduced to the FHIP NOFA process in 2003, is another requirement, where grantees establish annual output and outcome measures and report on their progress in meeting these measures. However, the Logic Model process is new, and FHEO will not have useful data from the Logic Model reports for a few years.

Evidence: FHIP grantee agency directors and advocates have petitioned HUD to institute a national case reporting system, similar to TEAPOTS (which is used by HUD and the FHAP agencies), for the FHIP agencies. A recurring complaint from both FHIP grantees and FHAP agencies is case referrals between FHIP agencies, HUD, and FHAP agencies are problematic because FHIP agencies do not structure their case files in a formate that allows for easy data entry into the TEAPOTS system. Information that a HUD or FHAP investigator may have entered into TEAPOTS may not be included in a FHIP-referral case file. FHIP and FHAP receipients have suggested that HUD institute standard definitions and investigatory reporting processes for both FHIP and FHAP agencies, and that the Title 8 handbook be revised to standardized investigatory and enforcement processes and terms.

NO 0%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: FHEO collaborates with the Department of Justice in cases that involve zoning issues and pattern and practice cases of discrimination. Additionally, FHEO entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Thrift Supervision to investigate complaints of discrimination as they relate to National Financial Depositories. On a State and Local level FHEO collaborates with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME recipients to ensure that grantees are affirmatively further fair housing.

Evidence: FHIP grantees are encouraged to seek addition sources of funding from other HUD programs, such as CDBG. FHIP grantees work closely with FHAP agencies as well.

YES 10%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: FHIP grantees are required to submit quarterly requests to their GTRs to receive their grant awards. At Headquarters, FHIP utilizes Departmental financial systems. There were no material weaknesses reported in the Auditor's Report directly relating to the FHIP. FHIP follows HUD Fund Control Procedures.

Evidence: FY 2003 Performance and Accountability Report. FY 2003 Independent Auditor's Report.

YES 10%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: FHEO officials are working to address general concerns raised by FHIP receipients, such as the need for further training of FHIP grantees, the concerns about a steady source of annual funding, the need for standardized processes and reporting and a national reporting system. There is a need for recent independent evaluations of the FHIP program to examine program progress, particularly given the recent development of performance measures by FHEO to more adequetly track FHIP grantee contributions. Further study and recommendations on areas of program improvement are need to identify management problems with the FHIP program or evaluate concerns raised by FHIP grantees and advocates.

Evidence: FHIP grantees may apply for only one type of funding per year under the NOFA, which leads to a large concentration of newer agencies conducting education and outreach initiatives, with the majority of older, established FHIP grantees pursuing private enforcement grants. However, agencies who receive private enforcement grants are limited to spending no more than 5% of their PEI grant funding on education and outreach initiatives, which limits PEI grantees from performing basic education and outreach activities.

YES 10%

Are grants awarded based on a clear competitive process that includes a qualified assessment of merit?

Explanation: As mandated by the Community Development Act of 1974, as amended (42 USC 5300-5320), the FHIP program is required to competitively administer its funding to qualified fair housing organizations as defined in 24 CFR 125. Each year FHEO participates in the SuperNOFA process and announces the funds and the guidance for applying for FHIP funds. The threshold for funding in this program is set at 75 points. Applicants eligible for funding are required to adhere to the standards set forth in General and program specific sections of the NOFA.

Evidence: FHIP Program regulations at 24 CFR Part 125

YES 10%

Does the program have oversight practices that provide sufficient knowledge of grantee activities?

Explanation: Headquarters and Field Offices have Government Technical Representatives (GTR) and Government Technical Monitors (GTM) that monitor and report on the activity of grantees on an annual basis. GTRs are required to review agency audit reports and note any findings, and include their review of the audit in the Technical Assistance or Performance Assessment Reports. Additionally, Headquarters must be informed immediately whenever there is a reported misuse of FHIP funds and or if a grantee is in need of technical assistance. During the term of the grant period, the grantee is required to submit a quarterly report that documents the program's successes, deliverables, and any barriers. These reports are used to determine approval for payment requests during the term of the grant.

Evidence: FHEO is mandated by Congress to provide an Annual Report to Congress on Fair Housing Programs. This report is prepared in accordance with Sections 808(e)(2) and (6) of the Fair Housing Act and Section 561(j) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1987, as amended. HUD develops and distributes the Accountability and Results Report of which FHEO's management goals and achievements are reported on. Finally, FHEO holds a National Fair Housing Training bi-annually providing FHIP/FHAP agencies with information regarding performance assessments, technical assistance, legal updates and how to more timely and efficiently process fair housing complaints.

YES 10%

Does the program collect grantee performance data on an annual basis and make it available to the public in a transparent and meaningful manner?

Explanation: FHIP grantees are required to submit quarterly reports to Regional Office Government Technical Representatives (GTRs) detailing grantee activities, performance milestones (as outlined by the FHIP grantee's Statement of Work (SOW) and Logic Model submittions with the NOFA application). Quarter grantee reports are used by GTRs during the grantee's annual performance audit. However, FHEO does not make grantee performance information available to the public, including grantee performance scores or activities.

Evidence: Annual Report to Congress. The Accountability and Results Report. 2003 National Fair Housing Policy Agenda.

NO 0%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 70%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: Given the difficulties in measuring discrimination, and the enormous cost of conducting evaluations and studies demonstrating reductions in housing discrimination, FHEO has made clear progress in achiving its long-term outcome goals of reducing housing discrimination and increasing public awareness of fair housing laws. HUD's 1994 evaluation of the FHIP program shows that the FHIP program has an impact on FHEO achiving its long-term goals.

Evidence: FHEO's long-term measures are established and defined by studies and evaluations which are conducted every 5 to 10 years. FHEO also recognizes that studies such as HDS 2000 and "How Much Do We Know?" do not include or seek to measure the many forms of discrmination that the general public faces each day, including many of the seven protected classes outlined in the Act. Furthermore, FHEO has not considered the need for an interim measure of discrimination that can show progress every few years, rather than every 5 to 10 years (especially given the high cost of conducting massive studies such as HDS 2000 ($16 million)). FHEO may want to consider regular evaluations of the number of complaints it receives concerning each of the seven protected classes, and to track increases or decreases in the number of complaints received for each classes, similar to the way that the National Crime report consolidates regional numbers on broad crime categories.


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: The FHIP program has recently developed several annual output goals to fully track and reflect FHIP grantee performance. These new measures provide more information about grantee performance that supports FHIP contributions to the long-term outcome goals of reducing housing discrimination and increasing public awareness of fair housing laws. However, FHEO needs to further develop and refine its output measures to include grantee performance as collected through the Logic Model and activities such as paired testing to show the impact of testing on enforcement and education and outreach efforts.

Evidence: See questions 2.3 and 2.4


Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: Efficiency measures have recently been developed by FHEO for this program. Generally, more funding has been provided for establishing new fair housing groups, which provides greater funding stability for 3 years to allow for capacity-building activities. However, other efficiency measures do not demonstrate clear improvement. For example, the amount of PEI funding appropriated necessary to complete a FHIP complainant that has been referred to either a FHAP or HUD averages approximately $17,792 per case over a three year period. Costs may vary based upon the number of tests necessary to investigate the complaint. While cost savings occurred between 2002 and 2003, when case processing costs went from $19,829 a case down to $15,814 a case, the historic data for this measure demonstrates significant variations in case processing costs from year to year.

Evidence: FHEO will continue to refine newly developed efficiency measures for this program.


Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: The program addresses a very serious need, and is the only government program that provides necessary funding to both public (state and local) and private organizations to conduct investigations, perform testing, and increase education and outreach.

Evidence: FHIP grantees have expressed their concerns with program administration, particularly against the annual evaluation process that HUD uses to determine FHIP performance under a grant. FHIP grantees, as well as their advocates, would like to see a standardized process in place that holds the grantee responsible for meeting their delieverables, their own performance measures, with the possibilities for rewarding those grantees which exceed their own statement of work expectations. FHEO's use of the Logic Model process should address these concerns.

NA 0%

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: While the FHIP program continues to do the basic same activities validated by the 1994 study, the program has expanded; FHEO plans to request a process evaluation by PD&R for its FY 2005 research agenda. FHEO should continue to work with HUD's PD&R to identify opportunities to study the impact and contributions of FHIP grantees upon program outcomes.

Evidence: FHEO should consider additional ways to measure direct contributions of FHIP grantees on program performance measures, particularly in the achievement of long-term outcome measures on a more regular basis.

Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 42%

Last updated: 09062008.2004SPR