Community Advisory Group Announcement

Community Development Agency

ANNOUNCEMENT: MARIN COUNTY'S COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY IS INVITING APPLICATIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF FAIR HOUSING

In October of this year, the Board of Supervisors will consider a work plan for the second phase of the Assessment of Fair Housing’s (AFH) community engagement process. Staff is currently looking to identify individuals who are interested in participating on the Community Advisory Group.

The Community Advisory Group will work with County staff to:

  • Provide advice and feedback on citizen engagement strategies, particularly to members of the protected classes and communities of color;
  • Collaborate and participate in inclusive and broad discussions on a variety of housing-related topics; and
  • Consider action plans and solutions for addressing barriers to fair housing choice.

The Community Advisory Group will analyze why where you live matters, and why there are different outcomes for residents in different communities in the County. Members will be asked to examine, publicly report and develop strategies to identify and address disparities in community conditions that negatively affect access to and opportunities for:

    • Transportation
    • Education
    • Employment
    • Environmentally healthy neighborhoods
    • Community assets, including banking and financial services, grocery stores and other retail businesses, and broadband services.

Community Advisory Group members will be asked to participate in one of two ways:

  1. To commit to participating in discussions on all the above topic areas. This commitment will be to participate and learn about all the above topics and engage in discussions over a 2-year period. Meetings will generally be scheduled every month and each meeting will last approximately 2 hours.
  2. To commit to participating in one or more of the above topic areas that are of interest to you. This commitment will be to participate and learn about a specific topic area and engage in discussions for to up to 4 months for each topic. Meetings will be scheduled every month and each meeting will last approximately 2 hours.

In an effort to create a diverse Community Advisory Group, residents from all areas of the County are invited to participate, and members of the protected classes, young adults, and individuals from low-income communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Background

On June 12, 2018 the Marin County Board of Supervisor’s received updates on the progress of the County’s Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The AFH is the County’s requirement to affirmatively furthering fair housing and identify and address barriers to fair housing choice in Marin. Affirmatively furthering fair housing means, “taking 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 characteristics.” Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, when taken together,

  • Addresses significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunities;
  • Replaces segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns;
  • Transforms racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity; and
  • Fosters and maintains compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.

While often associated with affordable housing, fair housing is not the same as affordable housing. Fair Housing laws are civil rights laws and apply to owners and renters at all income levels. These laws include policies that ensure that people are not denied equal opportunities because of their race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, or familial status.

Because the County receives federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the HOME Investors Partnership Program, it is required to conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing to assess and identify fair housing barriers and contributing factors, set fair housing priorities and goals to address those barriers, and, ultimately, take meaningful actions to affirmatively further fair housing. The County must publicly report strategies and recommendations that not only address discrimination in housing, but also address disparities in neighborhood conditions that have negative health, education, and economic impacts.

 

In 2016, the County began a community engagement process and met with over 1,400 residents, individuals, groups, nonprofits, youth, and County employees, among others to identify housing challenges in Marin and to hear recommendations for addressing those challenges. In addition to meeting with individuals and groups, County staff invited residents of Marin to work with the County and created a Community Advisory Group.  Staff also created a Steering Committee, composed of County partners and stakeholders, to provide oversight for the AFH work plan.

You can view the June 12, 2018 staff presentation to the Board of Supervisors as well as the staff report which is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese at

https://www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/divisions/housing/fair-housing/assessment-of-fair-housing

 

Applying for the Community Advisory Group

 

If you are interested in participating as a Community Advisory Group member, please complete and submit the application no later than 5:00 PM on October 19, 2018.

Applications are available through the attachments below, or can be mailed or emailed to you. If you have any questions, please contact Liz Darby at ldarby@marincounty.org or at (415) 473-6276

 

Community Advisory Group Application (English)

Community Advisory Group Application (Spanish)

Community Advisory Group Application (Vietnamese)