Organized to respond to the Agency's expanding role in monitoring the progress of access to Fair Housing initiatives, FHEO is also responsible for implementing the agency's Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity programs for minority and women-owned business enterprises. FHEO is composed of three distinct units. Each unit is under the guidance of the Director who is responsible for ensuring that respective program areas are monitored for compliance with State and Federal laws, rules and regulations governing equal opportunity in tenant occupancy in State-assisted housing, hiring, and contractual opportunities administered by DHCR.
Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo and Commissioner/CEO Towns, HCR is continuing its series of open forums for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). Article 15-A of New York State Executive Law, §§310-318 (Participation by Minority Group Members and Women with Respect to State Contracts), was enacted July 19, 1988 and amended in 2011 to promote economic opportunities and equality of employment for minority group members and women in State contracting activities.
Forums are organized by HCR's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in conjunction with staff from the agency's program offices. Staff from the related program office is available at each forum to make presentations and answer questions.
Previously Held MWBE Forums:
For Technical Assistance Providers (Conversion of Manufactured Home Parks to Cooperatives)
Date Held: Monday, January 23, 2012
Please see the invitation letter for more details: Technical Assistance Provider Invitation Letter
Date Held: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Please see the invitation letter for more details: Appraiser Invitation Letter
For Construction Monitors
Date Held: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Please see the invitation letter for more details: Construction Monitor Invitation Letter
For Financial Advisors
Date Held: Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Please see the invitation letter for more details: Financial Advisor Invitation Letter
The CCU implements Executive Law Article 15-A to ensure the participation of minority (Note: Minority is defined as Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Native American) and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) in contracts for construction, commodities and professional services with housing entities under DHCR supervision. It monitors M/WBE participation goals in contracting and subcontracting opportunities and reviews the affirmative action aspects of contractors' workforce utilization plans to ensure the hiring of minorities and women.
CCU assists M/WBEs in applying to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) for State-certification. The staff works to ensure that state certified firms listed in ESDC's database are notified of all relevant contracting opportunities. Outreach activities include providing information to M/WBEs on contracting opportunities available through DHCR's various housing programs such as the Mitchell-Lama Program, the Public Housing Modernization Program, Housing Trust Fund, Housing Development Fund, and the HOME Program. The staff participates in project planning conferences, reviews Requests for Proposal (RFPs), and Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs), and sets procedures for announcing contracting and bidding opportunities.
CCU also monitors compliance under Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968 for programs receiving federal funds.
The EEOU monitors DHCR's personnel policies and practices and its implementation of hiring goals to ensure appropriate representation of women, minority groups, disabled persons and Vietnam veterans in employment. It advises managers and supervisors on equal opportunity in hiring, training, promotion and other personnel actions and monitors such activities in light of the agency's affirmative action goals and objectives. The EEOU conducts special recruitment for certain DHCR job titles and engages in SCOPE conferences with the Department of Civil Service to ensure that civil service examinations are relevant and fair.
The staff investigates and assists in resolving employment discrimination complaints under Federal and State equal employment opportunity statutes. Complaints can be filed by an applicant for employment, a current employee, or a beneficiary of a DHCR service who believes that he or she has been the subject of discrimination. The unit provides training and technical assistance to agency staff on a range of equal opportunity matters including sexual harassment and reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in employment as well as access to services provided by DHCR.
FHU seeks to promote fair housing and equal housing opportunity by requiring awardees of capital program funding and tax credits to comply with State and Federal civil rights laws in the marketing of the low income housing they develop. These efforts are primarily guided by the Fair Housing Act and its amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the NYS Human Rights Law. These statutes prohibit discrimination in the sale or rental of housing based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, familial status, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status and marital status. FHU affirmatively furthers fair housing statewide by ensuring that developers submit a marketing plan for approval prior to marketing and rental of units. FHU also provides technical assistance and training on civil rights issues to developers and DHCR employees involved at the regional level.
Last updated on 01/23/12