HUD Suspends Assessment of Fair Housing Submissions
HUD recently issued a notice extending until after Oct. 31, 2020, the deadline for cities and other participating jurisdictions to submit assessments of fair housing (AFH), the new reporting and assessment tool required by HUD’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule. Based on a review of the first 49 AFH initial submissions, HUD says that many local governments need additional time and technical assistance to adjust to the AFFH process instituted in 2015.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 requires jurisdictions receiving federal funds for housing and urban development to affirmatively further fair housing. The Fair Housing Act not only makes it unlawful for jurisdictions to discriminate, but also requires jurisdictions to take actions to undo historic patterns of segregation and other types of discrimination, as well as to promote fair housing choice and to foster inclusive communities. Although AFFH has been law since 1968, meaningful regulations on how to comply had not been issued.
The AFFH rule requires local jurisdictions receiving more than $500,000 a year in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to submit their first AFH 270 days before their program year that begins on or after Jan. 1, 2017, for which a new Consolidated Plan is due. In addition, the AFFH rule requires local governments that receive $500,000 or less in CDBG each year to submit an AFH when they have to prepare a new Consolidated Plan in a program year that begins on or after Jan. 1, 2019.
The vast majority of local governments renew their Consolidated Plans on a five-year cycle that had them renewing their Consolidated Plans in 2015, with an estimated 60 percent of those renewing by July 1, 2015; consequently, they didn’t need to submit an AFH until their next new Consolidated Plan in 2020. Because HUD’s notice postpones jurisdictions’ requirement to submit an AFH until their required AFH submission date that falls after Oct. 31, 2020, HUD is effectively postponing implementation of the AFFH rule for a large majority of jurisdictions until 2025.