The Fight for Housing Justice campaign released new resources regarding the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. These resources include a sample comment letter from NLIHC and a joint statement from NLIHC and other key housing advocacy groups. In addition, a video is now available from the Alliance for Housing Justice, “Understanding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” which describes the importance of AFFH and the harmful impacts the proposed changes would have if implemented. The proposed AFFH rule removes key civil rights protections and retreats from national efforts to enforce housing desegregation. NLIHC and other civil rights and housing advocacy groups urge supporters of decent, accessible, affordable housing options for all to submit comments before the comment deadline on March 16.
NLIHC’s sample comment letter can help organizations and individuals write and submit comments opposing HUD’s proposal to radically alter the 2015 AFFH rule. NLIHC’s sample comment letter provides some background information and offers language advocates can use to articulate why they think affirmatively furthering fair housing is important. The letter has seven general supporting arguments, each with multiple potential examples upon which advocates can choose to elaborate.
In the joint statement, NLIHC and our partners at the National Fair Housing Alliance, National Housing Law Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Relman Colfax, Poverty & Race Research Action Council, and National Consumer Law Center explain the harmful impacts the proposed revisions would have on marginalized communities.
“Housing justice and racial justice are inextricably linked. More than 50 years after the passing of the Fair Housing Act, Black and Latino people are disproportionately harmed by the housing crisis,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC. “Until the 2015 AFFH rule, no meaningful guidance existed to combat the decades of segregation laws built into federal housing policies. The AFFH rule was a critical step in addressing historic and current discrimination. By gutting this rule and proposing provisions that eliminate any accountability by the federal government, states, and local communities to work to undo segregation, this administration is taking a big step backwards. We will not stand for the willful neglect of HUD’s obligation to advance fair housing access to all communities. We will remain dissatisfied and active until Secretary Carson vigorously enforces the country’s obligation to further fair housing.”
Nearly 14,000 comments had been submitted in response to the rule so far, and advocates will continue to urge the proposed AFFH revisions be abandoned in favor of stronger guidelines for implementing the Fair Housing Act. Fight for Housing Justice partners and allies will host a week of action March 9 to March 13 to push for more opposition comments to be submitted by the March 16 deadline.
NLIHC’s sample comment letter is at: https://bit.ly/2PeI991
The joint statement is at: https://tinyurl.com/vruzv9s
The Alliance for Housing Justice’s two-minute video is at: https://bit.ly/38Owt4G
Fight for Housing Justice has more resources and a web portal for submitting comments at: www.fightforhousingjustice.org/affh
More about AFFH under the Trump/Carson administration is on NLIHC’s website at: https://bit.ly/2Snb2Ax
Information about the 2015 AFFH rule, Secretary Carson’s suspension of the 2015 rule, and the AI process that jurisdictions must follow until a final rule is implemented can be found on pages 7-14, 7-21, and 7-26 of NLIHC’s 2019 Advocates’ Guide.