NEWS RELEASE: Turning a Blind-Eye to Discrimination in Housing, HUD Further Harms AFFH Mandate


July 24, 2020

Carter Dougherty
(202) 251-6700

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. Although HUD received nearly 20,000 comments, the agency finalized its regulation only four months after the comment deadline.

The Fair Housing Act’s AFFH mandate requires localities receiving federal assistance to take meaningful actions to “affirmatively further fair housing” and undo discriminatory policies and practices that facilitated the creation of racially segregated, under-resourced communities and lead to continuing inequities today.  Under the Trump Administration, HUD suspended the AFFH regulations finalized in 2015, which provided the only meaningful guidance on how to put AFFH into practice to address discriminatory housing practices and undo the harms caused by racial segregation, housing discrimination and disinvestment. Yesterday, HUD finalized a new AFFH rule that is completely contrary to the intent of the AFFH mandate. Instead of furthering fair housing, the rule effectively eliminates a critical tool for addressing discrimination and segregation in our communities.

“At a time when communities of color are disproportionately bearing the brunt of the economic damage and illness caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HUD has made the unconscionable decision to undermine fair housing and perpetuate existing patterns of discrimination and inequality.” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund. “While much of the country is calling for reforms to address systemic racism,  HUD has deliberately chosen to finalize a rule that goes against the core goal of the statutory mandate to affirmatively further fair housing, and will exacerbate inequities and segregation instead.”