Fair Housing: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)
NLIHC tracks regulations around affirmatively furthering fair housing and develops resources for advocates to weigh in on the process.
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act) requires HUD to administer its programs in a way that affirmatively furthers fair housing. The Fair Housing Act not only makes it unlawful for jurisdictions and public housing agencies (PHAs) to discriminate; the law also requires jurisdictions to take actions that undo historic patterns of segregation and other types of discrimination, as well as to take actions to promote fair housing choice and to foster inclusive communities. The protected classes of the Fair Housing Act are determined by race, color, national origin, sex, disability, familial status, or religion.
The laws that established the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS), and the Public Housing Authority Plan (PHA Plan) each require jurisdictions to certify in writing that they are affirmatively furthering fair housing.
States must assure that units of local government receiving CDBG or HOME funds comply. States, local governments, and PHAs must certify that they are affirmatively furthering fair housing in their Consolidated Plans (ConPlans) and Public Housing Agency Plans (PHA Plans). In order to comply, these jurisdictions must have an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, also known as an AI.
Affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) is defined in CDBG and ConPlan regulations as:
- Having an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI).
- Taking appropriate actions to overcome the effects of impediments.
- Keeping records reflecting the analysis and showing actions taken.
The AI process was widely recognized as ineffective. Therefore, after six years of obtaining stakeholder input, HUD finally issued a regulation in July 2015 designed to make AFFH meaningful while also making it easier for jurisdictions and PHAs to meet their legal obligations. However, the Trump/Carson administration has, in effect, indefinitely suspended implementation of the 2015 rule, and reverted to the ineffective AI process.