A group of 37 Democratic senators, led by Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), submitted a comment letter on March 16 opposing HUD’s proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. The senators state that the proposed rule would neither fulfill the Fair Housing Act’s purpose of ensuring fair and equitable housing nor adequately address the ongoing effects of discrimination and inequality in housing. The senators urged HUD to withdraw its current proposal and reimplement the more effective 2015 AFFH rule. The public comment period for this proposed rule closed on March 16.
The proposed AFFH rule would reverse the 2015 AFFH rule, which made the strongest effort in decades to reverse harmful patterns of segregation and discriminatory housing policies. In the letter, the senators express their deep concern with the proposed AFFH rule, stating it would “gut both the spirit and intent of the FHA [Fair Housing Act] and replace it with an approach that relies on the faulty premise that simply increasing housing supply can address the problems of housing discrimination and segregation.”
“Our collective future depends on all people having equal access to the opportunity to thrive and realize their potential,” the letter states. “The proposed rule is a disappointing abdication of federal efforts to empower communities to address the ongoing effects of discrimination and inequality. Fifty-two years ago, Congress charged HUD with the responsibility of helping communities realize this promise. If HUD is to continue to carry out this responsibility, you must discard this proposed rule and recommit the Department to implementing the 2015 AFFH rule.”
In addition to Senator Brown, other signatories include Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Doug Jones (D-AL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Scott Peters (D-MI).
The comment letter is at: https://tinyurl.com/qv89mhd