Members of the House of Representatives now have until May 2 to sign a “dear colleague” letter encouraging HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to “move forward expeditiously” in issuing a final rule regarding jurisdictions’ obligation to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH). HUD issued a proposed rule on July 19, 2013 (see Memo, 7/19/13).
On April 1, six Members of Congress, led by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), initiated the letter (see Memo, 4/4). The other five were Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Al Green (D-TX), Rúben Hinojosa (D-TX), Gwen Moore (D- WI), and Terri Sewell (D-AL). Members who have recently added their names to the letter are Representatives Andre Carson (D-IN), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Barbara Lee (D-CA).
“We urge you to move swiftly to enact a final rule, and to ensure that HUD has the tools in place to support its successful implementation,” write the Members. While the letter supports the proposed rule, it also points out several ways a final rule could improve upon the proposed rule. These include establishing benchmarks to measure a jurisdiction’s progress, clarifying consequences for a jurisdiction’s failure to fulfill the obligation to further fair housing, and strengthening the process by which the public can raise concerns.
Advocates are urged to contact their Members of Congress to sign the letter before the deadline of May 2. Members can contact Carol Wayman with Mr. Ellison at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Gregg Orton with Mr. Green at Gregg.email@example.com,gov.
A similar letter from Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is expected to be circulated in the U.S. Senate early the week of April 21.
Get more information about the proposed AFFH rule at: http://nlihc.org/issues/affh