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Breaking: HUD Will Rewrite Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will rewrite the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule approved by the Obama administration in 2015. HUD Secretary Ben Carson says the rule is "suffocating" affordable housing development.
August 13, 2018, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mark Van Scyoc

"The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today published a notice inviting public comment on amendments to its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. HUD's goal in pursuing new rulemaking is to offer more helpful guidance to states and local communities to effectively promote fair housing choice through the use of their federal funds," according to an announcement released this morning from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD also posted an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [pdf].

"As HUD begins the process of amending the existing AFFH regulations, it is soliciting public comment on changes that will: (1) minimize regulatory burden while more effectively aiding program participants to meet their statutory obligations, (2) create a process focused primarily on accomplishing positive results, rather than on analysis, (3) provide for greater local control and innovation, (4) seek to encourage actions that increase housing choice, including through greater housing supply, and (5) more efficiently utilize HUD resources," according to the press release.

The press release includes soundbites from HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who says, "HUD believes very deeply in the purposes of the Fair Housing Act and that states, local governments, and public housing authorities further fair housing choice.…HUD's 2015 rule often dictated unworkable requirements and actually impeded the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing."

Carson continues: "It's ironic that the current AFFH rule, which was designed to expand affordable housing choices, is actually suffocating investment in some of our most distressed neighborhoods that need our investment the most….We do not have to abandon communities in need. Instead we believe we can craft a new, fairer rule that creates choices for quality housing across all communities."

The press release does not cite any evidence to back up the claim that the 2015 rule is suffocating affordable housing development.

Planetizen covered the approval of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule in 2015, as well as the ongoing political and legal battles surrounding the Fair Housing Act since the Trump administration entered office.

For news coverage of the move by HUD to rewrite the Afformatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, there's an article on the Wall Street Journal that is behind a paywall.

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Published on Monday, August 13, 2018 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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