Obama Administration Adds New Clout to Fair Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has released the details of the final rule for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which will give new strength to the goals set forth by the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

2 minute read

July 10, 2015, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"The Obama administration announced an aggressive effort on Wednesday to reduce the racial segregation of residential neighborhoods," report Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Binyamin Appelbaum. "It unveiled a new requirement that cities and localities account for how they will use federal housing funds to reduce racial disparities, or face penalties if they fail."

According to Davis and Applebaum, the Obama Administration created the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule "to enforce the goals of the civil rights-era fair housing law that bans overt residential discrimination," but have largely failed to prevent segregation. Included in the new effort is a promise by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to "make available a trove of data that local officials can use in deciding how they will address segregation and racially concentrated areas of poverty, rather than being told how they must meet the new goals." The article also notes the political divide provoked in response to the announcement—with civil rights organizations on one side and conservatives on the other.

Writing for the Urban Institute in a separate article, Solomon Greene and Erika C. Poethig provide their take on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, explaining its importance and commending HUD for taking steps toward addressing segregation and expanding opportunity.

The new rule follows shortly after a Supreme Court ruling that also strengthened the cause of the Fair Housing Act on the issue of disparate impact in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 in The New York Times

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.