The July 2015 AFFH rule required program participants to conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) using a standard Assessment Tool. Three Assessment Tools were proposed: one for local jurisdictions, one for states, and one for PHAs. Each proposed Assessment Tool was subjected to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), which requires an initial 60-day public review and comment period, followed by a second 30-day review and comment period.

The Local Government Assessment Tool went through the PRA process twice because the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the first version for only one year; therefore after the first year the Local Government Assessment Tool went through the PRA process again.

On January 5, 2018, the Trump/Carson administration abruptly suspended the obligation of local governments to submit an AFH; nearly 900 of the 1,200 local governments’ obligation to submit an AFH would have been held up until 2024 or 2025. Then on May 18, 2018, HUD informally (and formally on May 23) announced that it would indefinitely suspend the use of the Assessment Tool while it revised the Local Government Assessment Tool. Because the July 2015 AFFH rule required local jurisdictions to submit an AFH for HUD approval, and because the rule required jurisdictions to use the Assessment Tool to create an AFH, HUD’s suspension of the Local Government Assessment Tool effectively halts the implementation of the July 2015 AFFH rule indefinitely.

The PHA Assessment Tool was approved by OMB, but PHAs never had to use the PHA Assessment Tool because the HUD data and mapping system had not been completed for public housing and vouchers.

The State Assessment Tool was withdrawn by HUD in the Obama administration when HUD agreed with states that the original version was not suited to the way states operate. At that time HUD was working with states to redesign the State Assessment Tool.

Assessment Tools for Local Jurisdictions, PHAs, and States

The Local Government Assessment Tool was approved for use by the Office of Management and Budget on January 17, 2017. Although the Trump/Carson administration removed it from HUD’s websites, a copy is available here: PDF

What follows is the sequence of public review and comment on the Local Government Assessment Tool in reverse chronological order from most recent to earliest.

Renewal of the Assessment Tool for Local Governments - 30-Day PRA (August 2016)

On August 23, 2016, HUD issued a notice for public comment on the renewal of the AFFH Assessment Tool for Local Governments. That notice provided 30 days for public review and comment on the assessment tool as revised in response to the previous 60-day Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) process (see below). The comment period for this notice closed on September 22, 2016

  • A copy of the Assessment Tool that was issued for public comment is available here.
  • A link to the notice in the Federal Register is available here.
  • A link to a copy of the Assessment Tool showing changes marked in redline edits to compare with the version issued for the 60-Day PRA public comment period is available here.
  • The public comments that were submitted are available at www.regulations.gov.

Renewal of the Assessment Tool for Local Governments - 60-Day PRA (March 2016)

On March 23, 2016, HUD issued a notice to renew the AFFH Assessment Tool for Local Governments under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) with 60 days for public review and comment. The Assessment Tool for Local Governments was initially issued for public effect on December 31, 2015. The Office of Management and Budget approved the use of that information collection instrument for a period of one year. HUD initiated the process for the renewal of this Assessment Tool pursuant to the PRA, which requires two public comment periods – a public comment period of 60 days (which was initiated by a March 23, 2016 notice) and a second comment period of 30 days (initiated by an August 23, 2016 notice). After consideration of the public comments submitted in response to this notice, HUD solicited a second round of public comments for a period of 30 days.

  • The Federal Register notice announcing the public comment period can be found at this link.
  • A PDF copy of the Federal Register notice is available here.
  • To view the public comments that were received on the Assessment Tool, use this link.

Initial Assessment Tool for Local Governments (December 2015)

On December 31, 2015, HUD issued the Assessment Tool that was to be used by certain local governments to complete an AFH. A copy of the Federal Register notice announcing the issuance of the Assessment Tool is here.

  • A copy of the Assessment Tool that was released on December 31, 2015 is here.
  • A comparison of the changes made in the Final Assessment Tool released on December 31, 2015 to the 30-Day PRA release version (March 2015)(Option B), is here.

Assessment Tool for 30-Day PRA (March 2015)

HUD asked for public comments on the Assessment Tool through a notice published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015. This was the second comment period about the tool, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. A copy of the Federal Register notice is here. That notice provided a full explanation of the Assessment Tool. Copies of all of the public comments are here.

HUD asked for comments regarding two versions of the Assessment Tool - the two versions differ only in their placement of contributing factors to be analyzed.

Assessment Tool for 60-Day PRA (September 2014)

On September 26, 2014, HUD released a draft Assessment Tool for a 60-day public comment period under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The Assessment Tool was intended to assist HUD block grant recipients and public housing agencies (PHAs) in completing an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) that would accompany their 5-year Consolidated Plans and PHA Plans. Numerous public comments were received on the draft.

  • NLIHC’s comment letter is here 
  • NLIHC’s preliminary summary of the proposed Assessment Tool is here
  • The preamble, which walks through the content of the draft Assessment, is here.
  • The draft Assessment is here
  • The Federal Register version is here.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved an Assessment Tool for public housing agencies (PHAs) on January 13, 2017. It is available here. However, PHAs have not been required to use it because HUD has not been able to provide the data and mapping tool that PHAs would be required to use.

A notice in the Federal Register on March 23, 2016 announced the availability of a proposed Assessment Tool that PHAs must use to when preparing their Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. Comments were due May 23, 2016.

  • The Federal Register notice about the proposed PHA Assessment Tool is here    
  • The PHA proposed Assessment Tool is here 
  • NLIHC’s comment letter regarding PHA Assessment Tool is here 

On March 11, 2016 HUD published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a proposed Assessment Tool that would have to be used by states and Insular Areas to complete an Assessment of Hair housing (AFH) as required by HUD’s affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) rule. Comments were due May 10, 2016.

  • The March 11, 2016 Federal Register notice is here 
  • A double-spaced, large font version of the Federal Register notice that was open for the 60-day first round of public comment under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is here 
  • NLIHC’s comment letter is here  
  • On September 28, 2016, HUD issued a notice for the 30-day second round of public comment under PRA on the AFFH Assessment Tool for States and Insular Areas. The notice, also announced that a second 30-day notice for public comment would be issued in 2017 to be accompanied by updates for the AFFH Data and Mapping Tool specifically designed for use by state agencies. This version of the Assessment Tool is available here 
  • The State Assessment Tool was never finalized. HUD under the Obama administration agreed with states that the tool, which was a modified version of the Local Government Assessment Tool, was not well suited for use at the state level. HUD began working with state stakeholders to revise the State Assessment Tool – which has not been revised.