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1999 Best Practices
Success Stories

Program Name: City of San Antonio Fair Housing Program
Program Focus: Fair Housing
Geographic Area: Southwest
State:     Texas  
City:     San Antonio  

Executive Summary
The Fair Housing Program Division of the City of San Antonio, Texas has developed a program to empower residents who have disabilities by improving their access to affordable housing. This "Best Practice" is a proactive approach to eliminating disparate treatment in affordable housing for San Antonio residents with disabilities.

The program, funded by a HUD Community Development Block Grant, involves the review of architectural plans and inspection of new multifamily housing to ensure compliance with Section 504 Accessibility regulations and the Title II Americans with Disabilities Act. Staff members conduct educational seminars to instruct professional groups in the housing industry in the San Antonio area on the requirements of the accessibility and disability regulations.

City officials and the local HUD office formed a partnership to provide builders and developers with the technical assistance and guidance needed to comply with federal requirements. Staff members of the Fair Housing Program review all plans for new multifamily housing, and city building inspectors conduct on-site inspections during the pre-construction, construction, and post-construction stages.

The challenge of educating individuals and groups affected by accessibility and disability regulations required that the program’s staff members take a proactive approach. During an 18-month period, they conducted extensive outreach to all professional groups involved in the construction of new multifamily housing in the San Antonio area. Technical guidance provided by city staff and improved coordination within the construction industry also helped ensure that persons working in the industry are informed of the requirements of the accessibility standards.

The benefits of the Fair Housing Program to the citizens of San Antonio are clear. By initiating efforts before construction begins, the program reduces the need for costly litigation after construction is completed. According to Augustine Sanchez, program manager for Fair Housing Program, city of San Antonio, the program has received strong feedback from participants, who believe that it represents "a positive approach in establishing a working relationship with builders and architects.

Partners: City of San Antonio Department of Building Inspection, City of San Antonio Department of Community Initaives, City of San Antonio Department of Fair Housing Program Division, City of San Antonio Department of Planning, HUD, the Enterprise Foudnation, Making Housing Acceptable, Inc., and Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio

Financing: HUD Community Development Block Grants

Point of Contact: Betsy Spencer, Phone: (210) 207-7822

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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455