Analysis of Impediments (AI) is a review of impediments or barriers that affect the rights of fair housing choice. It covers public and private policies, practices, and procedures affecting housing choice. Impediments to fair housing choice are defined as any actions, omissions, or decisions that restrict, or have the effect of restricting, the availability of housing choices, based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. The AI serves as the basis for fair housing planning, provides essential information to policy makers, administrative staff, housing providers, lenders, and fair housing advocates, and assists in building public support for fair housing efforts. Conducting an analysis of impediments is a required component of certification and involves the following:

  • An extensive review of a State or Entitlement jurisdiction's laws, regulations, and administrative policies, procedures, and practices;
  • An assessment of how those laws affect the location, availability, and accessibility of housing;
  • An evaluation of conditions, both public and private, affecting fair housing choice for all protected classes; and
  • An assessment of the availability of affordable, accessible housing in a range of unit sizes.

On September 2, 2004, an Analysis of Impediments Memorandum was signed by the Assistant Secretaries for the Offices of Community Planning and Development and Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. This memorandum gives guidance to HUD field offices regarding the requirements of the Consolidated Plan to prepare an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice.