HUD Terminates Obama-Era AFFH Rule
HUD Secretary Carson recently announced that HUD will terminate the Obama-era rule regarding the implementation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) provision of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. In a press release, Carson claimed that the provision has proven “to be complicated, costly, and ineffective.”
“After reviewing thousands of comments on the proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation, we found it to be unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with, too often resulting in funds being steered away from communities that need them most,” said Secretary Carson in the release. The 2015 rule requires cities and towns that receive federal funding to examine local housing patterns for racial bias and design a plan to address any measurable bias.
In its place, HUD has unveiled a new rule called Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice, which it says defines “fair housing” broadly to mean housing that, among other attributes, “is affordable, safe, decent, free of unlawful discrimination, and accessible under civil rights laws.” It then defines “affirmatively furthering fair housing” to mean any action rationally related to promoting any of the above attributes of fair housing.
HUD added that with the new rule, a grantee’s certification that it has affirmatively furthered fair housing would be deemed sufficient if it proposes to take any action above what’s required by statute related to promoting any of the attributes of fair housing. HUD remains able to terminate funding if it discovers, after investigation made pursuant to complaint or by its own volition, that a jurisdiction has not adhered to its commitment to AFFH.