Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Training Program
Through the FHA FIRST program LCM provides building industry professionals with technical guidance on Fair Housing Act Guidelines and compliance.
There are approximately 139.6 million dwelling units in the U.S. Over 40% are in multifamily buildings of four or more units that are subject to Fair Housing Act requirements.
As part of the HUD-sponsored Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST initiative managed by LCM, we conduct a technical guidance/training program. The intent is to educate building industry professionals about requirements of the FHA Guidelines and best practices for compliance. Training sessions are open to the public and free of charge.
Trainings address topics of interest to anyone with a stake in developing, operating, and regulating multifamily real estate. Attendees include:
- Property owners/managers
- Project managers
- Local building officials
- Building Permit Examiners
- Civil Engineers
- Landscape Architects
- Disability and housing advocates
- Enforcement officials
- Housing program specialists
LCM’s annual program typically consists of 10 day-long, live trainings presented in each HUD region throughout the U.S. There are 11 modules in the live training curriculum, addressing technical issues, disability rights laws, and FHA enforcement. To supplement the live trainings and reach more attendees, LCM launched a series of four 90 minute lunch time webinars. Participants can earn HSW CEUs from the AIA.
Judging from the increasing number of training attendees, the building industry is eager for information that affects property accessibility performance. In 2011 we reached approximately 650 people. We reached 10 times that number (6,999) in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 contract years combined.
In 2017 we began to supplement live trainings with webinars. Not surprisingly, the convenience of webinars – shorter duration, no travel time or expenses – attracts a larger audience than live trainings.
An important program goal is to constructively impact as many eligible housing units as possible. Therefore, we collect data from training attendees about the number of units for which they are responsible.
“I had our entire office on the call this week! Thanks LCM! Great partner!”
– Creative Director, Dwell Design Studio LLC
The 10 live trainings we presented during the 2018-2019 contract year recorded 272,402 units advised on. The four webinars conducted in Fall 2018 during that contract year yielded 2,498,785 housing units advised on.
Fall webinars in the 2019-2020 contract year recorded 3,478,907 units advised on. Four live trainings cancelled in April 2020 due to COVID-19 have been rescheduled as webinars in August and September 2020.
LCM’s ongoing, strategic outreach efforts continue to grow our audience. Our guidance provides building community professionals a better understanding of FHA requirements and compliance obligations. We anticipate that better informed influencers and practitioners will take the path toward more accessible multifamily housing stock.
Email KSalmon@lcmarchitects.com for more information on Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST, including training locations and schedules.
This post was written by John Ritzu, RA