HUD Updates & Links

Learn more about AFFH under the Trump/Carson Administration

The Proposed January 14, 2020 AFFH Rule

HUD published a proposed AFFH rule on January 14, 2020 that is not a fair housing rule. It considers housing that might be “affordable” to be the same as housing that is available to people in the Fair Housing Act’s protected classes based on race, color, national origin, sex, familial status, disability, or religion. The proposed rule even deletes the words “segregation” and “discrimination.” HUD proposes to substitute a supply-side ideology that misleadingly assumes that an overall increase in the supply of housing will trickle down to become “affordable” housing without any consideration of jurisdictions’ policies and practices on race and other protected classes or on overcoming patterns of housing segregation.

Advocates are urged to periodically go to www.FightForHousingJustice.org for a growing list of resources such as summaries by other organizations, talking points, news articles, Op Eds, social media and other communications ideas, and eventually sample comment letters. That site will continue to create useful materials to help you oppose this new rule throughout the comment period.

Organizations and individuals should submit comments opposing the proposed rule by the March 16 deadline. Go to www.FightForHousingJustice.org to submit a comment

Materials from NLIHC

A two-page summary is here

An eight-page summary is here

A thirty-page summary and analysis is here

A statement from Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO is here

An easy-to-read version of HUD’s proposed rule is here

The formal Federal Registerversion of HUD’s proposed rule is here

The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making, August 16, 2018

HUD published in the Federal Register on August 16, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Streamlining and Enhancements,” an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) inviting public comment on amending the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. 

The opening summary of the ANPR lists five changes that HUD proposed making. HUD wanted to:

1. Minimize regulatory burden;

2. Create a process that is focused primarily on accomplishing positive results, rather than on performing an analysis of community characteristics;

3. Provide for greater local control;

4. Encourage actions that lead to greater housing supply; and

5. Use HUD resources more efficiently.

The ANPR asked the public to comment on eight sets of questions. Five are discussed in NLIHC’s comprehensive assessment of the ANPR, available here

NLIHC’s comment letter is here.

The Suspension of the 2015 Final AFFH Rule, January 5, 2018

In a surprise move, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register on January 5, 2018 suspending most local governments’ obligation under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule to submit an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) well after October 31, 2020, and in most cases after 2025. HUD’s abrupt action was based on its review of the first 49 AFH initial submissions. Seventeen AFHs were not accepted when first submitted. However, the AFFH rule has a provision by which HUD is to indicate the shortcomings an AFH might have and provides jurisdictions chances to fix the shortcomings. HUD claimed that many local governments need additional time and technical assistance to adjust to the relatively new AFFH process instituted in 2015.

More about the January 5, 2018 suspension is here. 

In response to HUD’s action, three advocacy organizations sued HUD. The plaintiffs assert that HUD violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in three ways:

  1. HUD failed to provide the required public notice and comment procedures before suspending the AFFH rule's requirement for jurisdictions to submit an AFH.
  2. HUD acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner because it did not provide a reasoned basis for the suspension.
  3. HUD abdicated its duty under the Fair Housing Act to ensure that recipients of HUD funds affirmatively further fair housing.

More information about the lawsuit is here.

In addition, NLIHC signed onto an amicus brief.

On May 23, 2018, HUD went a step further, in effect indefinitely suspending implementation of the AFFH rule. HUD did this by withdrawing the January 5, 2018 notice suspending until 2024 the obligation of most jurisdictions to submit an AFH, indicating that HUD would re-write the Assessment Tool required to complete an AFH. Even a swift re-write would push use of the Assessment Tool and obligation to submit an AFH past the previous suspension period of 2024. More information about the indefinite suspension is here.

Although not exclusively about AFFH, on March 5, 2018, HUD proposed major changes to its Mission Statement. A draft statement removes previous references to creating “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.” The memo was circulated to senior political staff at HUD and sought input about the changes. Advocacy groups across the country immediately objected to the proposed modifications. NLIHC signed on to a letter from the Fair Housing Task Force urging Secretary Carson to not eliminate that phrase. That letter is available here.