Members of Congress Send Letter to HUD Urging Answers on Suspension of AFFH Rule

Thirty-eight Democrats in the House of Representatives sent a letter on February 5 asking HUD Secretary Ben Carson to provide more information on the agency’s recent decision to effectively suspend its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. The lawmakers expressed concern with HUD’s actions and asked for Dr. Carson to respond to several questions by February 28. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) authored the letter, which NLIHC and 26 other organizations endorsed.

Many civil rights, housing, and community development groups, including NLIHC, strongly opposed HUD’s January 5 notice that effectively suspended the AFFH rule and removed jurisdictions’ accountability for upholding all aspects of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

The letter states, “The Fair Housing Act not only makes it unlawful for jurisdictions to discriminate, it also requires that they take actions to dismantle historical patterns of segregation, which continue to limit the housing choices and opportunities of protected classes, including people of color, people with disabilities, families with children and religious groups. Despite the law’s passage 50 years ago, segregation still plagues our communities, resulting in inequities in all aspects of life, including education, health and income. The AFFH rule reaffirms the strongly held American belief that your zip code should not determine your access to opportunity. Unfortunately, HUD has abruptly decided to push back implementing this rule without input from these stakeholders and has not justified the agency’s actions in any convincing manner.”

The following representatives signed the letter: Pramila Jayapal (WA), Keith Ellison (MN), Alma S. Adams (NC), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (VA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Joe Courtney (CT), Danny K. Davis (IL), Al Green (TX), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Alcee L. Hastings (FL), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Ro Khanna (CA), Rick Larsen (WA), John B. Larson (CT), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), A. Donald McEachin (VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ), Mark Pocan (WI), Mike Quigley (IL), Jamie Raskin (MD), Cedric L. Richmond (LA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Bobby L. Rush (IL), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL), Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA), José E. Serrano (NY), Carol Shea-Porter (NH), Adam Smith (WA), Mark Takano (CA), Dina Titus (NV), Norma J. Torres (CA), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY), Jared Huffman (CA), and André Carson (IN).

Read the letter at:

Read the press release from national organizations opposing HUD’s actions at: