Late last month, HUD announced that it would be terminating the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation. The regulation was issued in 2015 and, according to HUD's statement, proved to be “complicated, costly, and ineffective.” HUD had previously suspended the regulation's 92-question grading tool in January 2018. While there has been blowback from critics who believe the rule should have remained in place, HUD Secretary Dr. Benjamin Carson recently appeared on Fox News to discuss the reasons HUD was moving away from the AFFH, as well as weighing in on topics such as the ongoing Black Lives Matters protests around the nation. You can watch the interview via the embed below.
Secretary Carson added, “Programs like this shift the burden away from communities so they are not forced to comply with complicated regulations that require hundreds of pages of reporting and instead allow communities to focus more of their time working with Opportunity Zone partners to revitalize their communities so upward mobility, improved housing, and homeownership is within reach for more people. Washington has no business dictating what is best to meet your local community’s unique needs.”
HUD’s new rule—Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice—defines fair housing to mean housing is affordable, safe, decent, free of unlawful discrimination, and accessible under civil rights laws.
The rule defines “affirmatively furthering fair housing” as any action rationally related to promoting any of the above attributes of fair housing.
To read a cross-section of industry reaction to the AFFH changes, click here.