In the fall of 2011 Housing Oregon — then called Oregon Opportunity Network — formed a Fair Housing Best Practices committee comprised of several of our members from across the state. This committee worked with many of our partners, including Oregon Housing and Community Services, the Portland Housing Bureau, the Fair Housing Council of Oregon, and Metro Multifamily Housing Association, to develop a values statement and a set of best practices that reflected our commitment to fair housing, and more importantly, to the fair treatment of all Oregonians. Our Board of Directors, our Policy Councils, and our partners reviewed this values statement and these best practices and provided amendments and critique. The resulting final documents were presented to Oregon ON’s Board of Directors for official adoption on April 4th, 2012, and they were unanimously approved and adopted.

Fair Housing Best Practices Statement of Values:

Our goal as an industry is to create properties that are welcoming and effectively serve all types of people. We believe our communities are best served when decent housing is available to all people, regardless of income or personal characteristics. We want to continually further fair housing; ensure that members of all protected classes have equal access to housing within the community of their choice; and make sure that none of our actions or rules has a disparate impact on a particular group of people. All of us recognize that we may have internal biases of which we may be unaware. We know that furthering fair housing and equity in our communities is a continual process of assessment, learning, and evaluating our results. We see fair housing as an ideal that requires constant effort, not an end to be reached.

We ask that all of our members also adopt these values and best practices within their organizations. We are proud to show our commitment to ensuring that all Oregonians have access to safe and decent affordable homes and we are pleased to share this commitment and these best practices with communities and citizens throughout the state. It is our hope that by adopting these values and best practices, Oregon becomes a more welcoming and inclusive place for all people.

These Fair Housing Best Practices may be modified from time to time. The document will be maintained on our website and shared with both current and incoming members. All members are expected to adhere to the values expressed in this policy and to strive to use the Best Practices in their organizations. We welcome and encourage member input and feedback on these Best Practices.

Anti–Discrimination Policy

Housing Oregon does not discriminate against any employee, volunteer, or customer on the basis of race, color, cultural heritage, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, or any other status protected under local, state, or federal law.

This policy extends to all personnel decisions, terms, and conditions of employment, vendor contracts and provision of services. Housing Oregon does not tolerate harassment for any reason. Respect for the dignity of others shall be the guiding principle for our relations with each other.

Policy on Immigration

As affordable housing providers, we believe that there is a need for a comprehensive, national immigration policy that is compassionate, realistic, and economically sensible. Because we recognize that many of Oregon’s farmworker and Latino families include both individuals who are able to document that they are legally present in the U.S. and those who cannot, a comprehensive immigration policy must also address the fundamental need for family unification.

Housing Oregon believes that the denial of housing is not a valid immigration policy and that it should not be the role of affordable housing providers to implement immigration policies.

When required by statute, our members follow policies such as verifying Social Security numbers. However, we believe that programmatic regulations that require evidence of Social Security numbers are a private concern for our residents. Given this position, we also recognize that our members’ refusal to provide Social Security numbers where not statutorily required is not an immigration issue and indicates nothing about the immigration status of our residents.

Housing Oregon opposes piecemeal immigration policies and any additional regulation of affordable housing programs related to immigration compliance, unless and until there is a comprehensive, national immigration policy that addresses the needs of all members of our communities, including new immigrants.