HUD Proposes New Rule to Strengthen Fair Housing Act

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a new proposed rule that furthers the benefits homeowners can receive under the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

The proposed rule to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) refers to the obligations of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 for state and local governments to improve and achieve more meaningful outcomes from fair housing policies, so that every American has the right to fair housing, regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. 

The rule was drafted in response to a 2010 Government Accountability Office report and numerous requests from stakeholders, advocates, and HUD program participants seeking clear guidance and technical assistance. 

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AFFH refines existing requirements so that individuals, organizations, local and state governments implementing HUD programs better understand their requirements under the Fair Housing Act.

The rule also aims to provide these entities with the tools they need to ensure that every American has the opportunity to live in the community of their choice without facing discrimination. 

“The proposed rule represents a 21st century approach to fair housing, a step forward to ensuring that every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of—where they have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in life,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. 

For the first time ever, according to Donovan, HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country via a geospatial tool, detailing the access various ethnic communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation and other neighborhood resources that can help people move into the middle class. 

Aside from the geospatial tool resources, under the proposed rule, HUD will provide program participants with a more clearly articulated definition of what it means to affirmatively further fair housing, as well as an assessment template that replaces the current, loosely defined Analysis of Impediments. 

As part of the rule making process, members of the public will have an opportunity to review the proposed AFFH rule and submit their thoughts, comments or questions via Regulations.gov for 60 days starting on Friday July 19th.

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • This new initiative has the strong odor of a “positive” use of “ethnic” profiling. HUD needs to get its revised mission correct or soon there will be a proposal to terminate it as well.

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