Trump Deals a Blow to Fair Housing Rules

The Trump Administration is gutting a key requirement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule enacted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama Administration.
January 5, 2018, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Tim Evanson

"Undermining another Obama-era initiative, the Trump administration plans to delay enforcement of a federal housing rule that requires communities to address patterns of racial residential segregation," report Emily Badger and John Eligon. The Obama Administration enacted the landmark Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in 2015 to better enforce the Fair Housing Act of 1968—one of the primary mechanisms of that rule now hangs in the balance.

"The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in a notice [pdf] to be published Friday in the Federal Register, says it will suspend until 2020 the requirement that communities analyze their housing segregation," add Badger and Eligon. Under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, an Analysis of Fair Housing (AFH) was required to receive block grants and housing funding from the federal government. The notice informs cities that they "must continue to comply with existing obligations to affirmatively further fair housing"—just without performing this analysis.

According to the article, as a justification for not requiring the AFH analysis, "HUD argues that it is trying to respond to cities that have struggled with the rule’s requirements, delaying it for several years while the agency further invests in the tools communities use to assess their housing patterns."

The article includes insight from fair housing advocates who express fear that the announcement might just be a precursor to do away with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule entirely.

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Published on Thursday, January 4, 2018 in The New York Times
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