Federal Court Dismisses AFFH Lawsuit Against HUD
A judge for the D.C. district court dismissed a lawsuit brought by fair housing advocacy groups for a preliminary injunction against HUD for withdrawing the Local Government Assessment Tool, which communities have been required to use in completing the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) that determined whether they are in compliance with the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule. The Local Government Assessment Tool is to be used by cities and other entities that receive Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds, Emergency Solutions Grants, or Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS formula funding from HUD. Advocates challenged HUD’s actions in a lawsuit.
The court found that the housing advocacy nonprofit groups failed to prove they were harmed by HUD’s move to effectively suspend an Obama-era rule requiring communities to address housing discrimination. “Many aspects of the [Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing] Rule remain active,” the judge wrote in her 77-page opinion. “HUD’s withdrawal of the tool does not ‘perceptibly impair’ the plaintiffs’ abilities to carry out their missions.” Also, the judge stated the court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to “micromanage agency choices on program implementation” when the plaintiffs haven’t proved sufficient harm.
The dismissal comes as HUD has reopened the 2015 AFFH regulations for public comment. Comments are due Oct. 15, 2018.