Biden Administration to Reinstate Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, Disparate Impact Rules

The pendulum swings on federal fair housing law.

April 18, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Washington, D.C.

Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock

Kriston Capps reports:

[T]he U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development submitted two fair housing rules for review. One is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which requires local governments that accept federal housing dollars to review their policies and actively work toward reversing segregation. The other is the discriminatory effects standard, better known as the disparate impact rule, which bars seemingly neutral policies in lending, renting and selling that result in discrimination.

As noted by Capps, the Biden administration is following through on a promise to restore rules scrapped by the Trump administration in a high-profile move motivated by his failed bid for reelection.

According to Capps, the AFFH rule proposed this month by the Biden administration is an interim rule, paving the way for a fuller AFFH measure. An update of the AFFH rule could provide an opportunity to improve on some of the limitations and weaknesses of the AFFH rule adopted by the Obama administration in 2015.

"The new disparate impact regulation, meanwhile, is a proposed rule, which gives the public the opportunity to weigh in before it takes effect," reports Capps.

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