HUD posted interim guidance for states and insular areas regarding their statutory obligation to affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH). Interim guidance is needed because the AFFH Assessment Tool for states and insular areas has not completed the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) review. Assessment Tools are meant to assist program participants (states and insular areas, as well as local governments and public housing agencies) undertake planning processes to meet their AFFH planning obligations. The insular areas are American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
A proposed Assessment Tool for states and insular areas was published for an initial 60-day comment period in March, 2016 (see Memo, 3/14/16 and 5/16/16). The PRA requires a subsequent 30-day comment period, which began on September 28, 2016. However, a final Assessment Tool has not cleared the Office of Management and Budget. The interim guidance indicates that HUD is continuing to develop the Assessment Tool and will publish another version for a second 30-day PRA comment period. The interim guidance should be used until a final Assessment Tool is provided or on January 1, 2019, whichever is earlier. Final Assessment Tools for local governments and public housing agencies were published on January 13 (see Memo, 1/17).
The July 2015 AFFH rule requires program participants to conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). However, the rule does not require compliance until there is an Assessment Tool. Therefore, states and insular areas are instructed to continue to meet their “Fair Housing Act of 1968” obligations by certifying that they are affirmatively furthering fair housing. As they have in the past, states and Insular Areas must conduct an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI), take appropriate actions to overcome the effects of impediments, and maintain records reflecting the analysis and actions.
While HUD’s 1996 Fair Housing Planning Guide remains the official guidance for completing an AI, HUD encourages states and insular areas to take advantage of the framework in the July 2015 final AFFH rule and the draft Assessment Tool. HUD also suggests referring to its 2016 AFFH Rule Guidebook.
The Interim Guidance is at: http://bit.ly/2jVb1SD
HUD’s 2016 AFFH Rule Guidebook is at: http://bit.ly/2iJNgQp
HUD’s 1996 Fair Housing Planning Guide is at: http://bit.ly/2jVagZN
More information about the AI is on page 7-14 of NLIHC’s 2016 Advocates’ Guide at: http://bit.ly/1NeyeGj