HUD Publishes AFFH Final Rule and Revised Assessment Tool for Local Governments in Federal Register

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 17, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — On July 16, HUD published the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) final rule in the Federal Register. HUD published the AFFH final rule on its website on July 8, but the rule’s official publication is the date on which it appears in the Federal Register. The rule replaces the current Analysis of Impediments requirement with a new Assessment of Fair Housing requirement for HUD participating jurisdictions. For more information on the AFFH final rule, including information on its implementation timetable and requirements, see NCSHA’s July 9 blog posting. The rule’s effective date is August 17, 2015.

HUD also published July 16 a notice announcing modifications it is making to the Fair Housing Assessment Tool for local governments and soliciting comments on those revisions. HUD will be publishing a separate Assessment Tool for states. The Assessment Tool is intended to help local governments complete their Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH), as required by the AFFH regulations. It will provide instructions for completing the AFH, nationally uniform data provided by HUD, and a series of questions designed to help local government program participants identify areas of racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, patterns of integration and segregation, disparities in access to opportunity, and disproportionate housing needs.

HUD initially issued the draft Assessment Tool for local governments on September 26, 2014, and provided a 60-day comment period during which stakeholders could weigh in. While this Assessment Tool is geared towards local governments and not states, HUD encouraged all stakeholders to submit comments on the local Assessment Tool, stating that it is “illustrative of the questions that will be asked of all program participants.” NCSHA submitted detailed comments outlining our view on how HUD should modify the Assessment Tool to meet the needs of states and other suggestions for improving the Assessment Tool for all program participants.

According to the Notice, HUD intends to make a number of changes to the local Assessment Tool, including reducing the total number of questions in the analysis section, improving clarity, and reducing the need for duplicative analysis.

Along with the revised Assessment Tool, the Notice states that HUD is provided a Geospatial Mapping Tool (Data Tool) containing interactive maps and exportable tables with the data HUD intends to provide program participants for use in their AFH. The data tool will be available here, though as of this writing it has not been posted. The data tool will be accessible through an interactive application on a Web-based interface. HUD anticipates making further changes to the data tool prior to its final release for use by program participants, including consolidating several redundant tables, improving the visual presentation of the maps, improving functionality, and providing additional maps and datasets.

HUD is accepting comments on the revised local Assessment Tool until August 17. NCSHA will update states as soon as HUD issues its notice on the state Assessment Tool. Contact NCSHA’s Jennifer Schwartz with questions.

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