HUD Proposes New Rule Weakening Fair Housing Protections

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – RealEstateRama – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a new proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule that would reduce the financial pressure local governments, states, and public housing agencies have to meet their fair housing obligations. HUD published its AFFH rule in 2015. In 2018, HUD effectively suspended the rule and removed the AFFH data and mapping tool. The tool was used to access HUD-provided data to conduct the fair housing analysis.

The AFFH provision was an integral part of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. In that provision, Congress directed HUD to ensure that neither the agency itself, nor the cities, counties, states and public housing agencies it funds, discriminate in their programs. Furthermore, the provision requires that federal housing and community development programs be administered in a manner that helps overcome racial segregation and expands housing choices for all families, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability. However, many jurisdictions receiving HUD funds have failed to fulfill their AFFH obligations. The 2015 AFFH rule provided HUD program participants with a planning framework and data tools to enable them to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from discrimination.

Center for Responsible Lending Executive Vice President Nikitra Bailey, released the following statement:

Where you live matters. Your zip code determines your life expectancy, household income, educational opportunities, credit score, and health outcomes. The 2015 AFFH rule was designed to address the impact of residential segregation and the harmful inequities that result from the discrimination behind it. Discrimination in housing is not a thing of the past, it is ongoing and real. HUD’s new proposed AFFH rule will dramatically weaken the federal government’s ability to address a legacy of racial segregation tied to housing patterns that it helped to create. Having rescinded the 2013 Disparate Impact rule last year, low-income communities and communities of color now more than ever need the government to provide them with critical tools to combat discrimination in housing and the insidious harms that result. Instead we’ve seen HUD, under the current Administration, do the opposite.


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