FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 8, 2020
AFR Ed Fund Criticizes HUD Proposal for Thwarting Fair Housing Goals
Yesterday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule.
The AFFH requirement in the Fair Housing Act requires all recipients of HUD funding to take affirmative steps to expand housing opportunities in their communities, and to alleviate historical patterns of discrimination and exclusion in housing.
“Fifty years after the enactment of the Fair Housing Act, we are disappointed that HUD has chosen to propose a rule that thwarts the very purpose of affirmatively furthering fair housing by undermining a critical tool for dismantling segregation.” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “By making AFFH ineffective, HUD’s proposal allows families of color and other excluded communities to be denied access to housing opportunities.”
If the proposed rule went into effect, HUD’s assessment of whether localities were meeting their AFFH obligations would not include consideration of race, religion, national origin, families with children, or other protected classes that the Fair Housing Act was intended to shield from discrimination. The proposed rule eliminates the community participation process, which was proven to be extremely effective in helping communities develop meaningful fair housing goals, and does not even have a requirement that state and local governments conduct a fair housing analysis for their communities at all.
The black homeownership rate is at a record low and homebuyers of color are routinely denied for conventional mortgages or offered loans at higher interest rates, but HUD’s proposed rule notably does not consider barriers to affordable homeownership in evaluating AFFH compliance.