Opinion Writers Oppose Trump's Proposed Changes to Fair Housing Laws

A former housing and urban development secretary and a professor of sociology oppose the Trump administration's proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.

February 18, 2020, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock

Shaun Donovan, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developer, writes an opinion piece for the New York Times to opposed proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering fair Housing rule, announced the Trump administration in January 2020.

Donovan explains the key terms in the contemporary debate over fair housing—disparate impact and affirmatively furthering fair housing—and the progress made under the Obama administration to implement policies to address both: 

At HUD, I codified and strengthened these principles. In 2013, the agency issued a formal disparate impact regulation based on decades of unanimous judicial consensus. And in the most important civil rights decision involving housing in a generation, the Supreme Court upheld the disparate impact principle in 2015, recognizing it as consistent with the “central purpose” of the Fair Housing Act. I also began improving HUD’s approach to affirmatively furthering fair housing and my successor, Julián Castro, completed it with a regulation in 2015.

Donovan's purpose in writing the opinion piece is to oppose changes proposed by the Trump administration to "gut" disparate impact standards and "fundamentally undermine" affirmatively furthering standards.

Donovan's opposition to the Trump administration's proposed changes is echoed in an opinion piece written by Gregory D. Squires, professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University, and published by American Banker, which calls the proposed actions "yet another significant step backward."

"As for its new proposal, HUD should simply scrap it. That would advance the agency’s efforts to fulfill its mandate to make fair housing a reality and lead to the balanced living patterns envisioned when the Fair Housing Act was passed," concludes the editorial.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 in The New York Times

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