White House Reinstates Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule is back, but with one critical change that seems to respond to complaints used by Trump administration officials to rescind the rule in 2020.

June 14, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Rep. Marcia Fudge

Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge | Tim Evanson fr / Rep. Marcia Fudge

Tracy Jan reports:

Nearly a year after the Trump administration replaced an Obama-era fair housing rule that critics decried as “burdensome” and that President Donald Trump alleged would “abolish” suburbs, President Biden’s housing department is restoring the requirement that communities take steps to reduce racial segregation or risk losing federal funds.

The Biden administration proposed the rule change back in April.

The reinstated Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule will have significant differences from the original version crafted by the Obama administration. A mandate that "communities undergo an extensive analysis of local barriers to integration and submit plans to dismantle them to the Department of Housing and Urban Development" has been nixed, explains Tran. The Biden administration justified the change by describing the assessment requirement as "unnecessarily burdensome," echoing former HUD Secretary Ben Carson's criticism of the AFFH.

Jonathan Zasloff—who has criticized the AFFH as implemented by the Obama administration as ineffective in an article for Planetizen in August 2020—is quoted in the article criticizing the Biden administration's changes to the AFFH rule.

“This doesn’t reverse the damage of the Trump administration,” said Jonathan Zasloff, a professor who teaches housing discrimination at UCLA School of Law. “The entire point of the 2015 rule was to have a standard data set. What gets measured gets dealt with.”

According to the article, local jurisdictions "must still maintain records of the actions they are taking to promote fair housing, even if they are not required to submit them." 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 in The Washington Post

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Rendering of St. John redevelopment site

Austin 'Right to Return' Policy Implemented for the First Time

A North Austin development will be the first approved under the city's new Right to Stay and Right to Return policies, aimed at preventing displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods.

September 16, 2021 - Next City

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.