HUD Proposal Would Weaken Fair Housing Enforcement

Legislation | January 15, 2020 | by Linda Couch

On January 14, HUD published a proposed rule that would replace a key Fair Housing Act enforcement tool to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) with a weaker version of the one developed in 2015 by the Obama Administration.

On January 14, HUD published a proposed rule that would replace a key Fair Housing Act enforcement tool to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) with a weaker version of the one developed in 2015 by the Obama Administration.

In 2015, the Obama Administration issued the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing tool. The AFFH tool provided a road map for jurisdictions and public housing agencies (PHAs) to meet their obligation under the Fair Housing Act’s to “affirmatively further fair housing.” The 2015 AFFH tool was the first time since the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968 that communities had clear compliance standards (and tools to abide by these standards) and the first time HUD had clear measures to enforce the AFFH obligation.

As noted in an article in McKnight's Senior Living, LeadingAge opposes the proposed rule. “In today’s proposed rule, HUD heaves its shovel once more to further bury effective compliance and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. In the housing sphere, no laws deserve as much aggressive oversight as do the nation’s fair housing laws,” she added. LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said.

The January 14 proposed rule would eliminate the 2015 AFFH regulation and replace it with one that the National Fair Housing AllianceNational Fair Housing Alliance says, would “not address segregation or provide clear standards or a format to help jurisdictions or PHAs identify and cure housing discrimination.”

The proposed rule would redefine AFFH and provide new ways for jurisdictions to certify they will affirmatively further fair housing. However, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the proposed rule would “use misguided measures to determine if a jurisdiction is marked by the impact of past housing discrimination or current discrimination.”

LeadingAge is working in coalition with other national organizations to oppose the proposed rule.