This week, HUD released a proposed rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AHHF) that would dramatically alter the Obama administration’s final rule published in 2015.
The rule changes the definition of AFFH from “taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws” to “advancing fair housing choice within the program participant’s control or influence.” HUD is proposing a definition of “fair housing choice” of “allowing individuals and families [to] have the opportunity and options to live where they choose, within their means, without unlawful discrimination related to race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability.”
HUD’s new rule would also eliminate the community participation and engagement requirement as well as the requirement that federal grantees complete an analysis of impediments to fair housing. Instead, federal grantees must commit to addressing at least three fair housing choice obstacles or goals over the next five years. Public housing agencies would be required to submit a consolidated plan as well as an annual certification that “they have consulted with the jurisdiction on how to satisfy their obligations to AFFH.”
Comments on the proposed rule are due 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.
In January of 2018, Secretary Carson suspended the obligation of local governments to file plans under the regulation and, in May 2018, withdrew a computer assessment tool required to be used by local governments in preparing those plans.