National CAPACD Condemns Suspension of AFFH Rule
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced today that the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule will be delayed until the end of 2020. This decision is a flagrant attack on our communities, who have been waiting decades for the Fair Housing Act to proactively ensure that all individuals, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other protected classes, receive fair housing. National CAPACD stands with our civil rights and affordable housing coalition partners, who have also voiced strong opposition to delay of this rule.
HUD established the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing final rule in 2015, which clarifies part of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, a historic law that forbids racial discrimination in housing. The Fair Housing Act was enacted to respond to a long history of discriminatory housing policies in this country, which includes redlining and isolation of communities of color, particularly African-American communities. The AFFH rule was a critical next step in the process of redress because it requires jurisdictions that receive federal housing funding to not only document barriers to integration and opportunity, but to also detail and prioritize policies to eradicate them.
The AFFH rule has the potential to transform community engagement with local planning processes, because it requires jurisdictions to undertake inclusive community participation activities, such as town halls and comment periods. In the cities that have embarked on their Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) process, we have seen beneficial outcomes such as the creation of multi-ethnic fair housing coalitions, city commitments to tackle eviction crises, a pledge to fund legal services for Limited English Proficient immigrant populations, and increased outreach about public housing programs. You can learn more about what the AFFH rule does for your community in National CAPACD’s fact sheet. HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s announced delay will force local jurisdictions to postpone this critical work, halting the progress that we have worked so hard together to achieve.
We must not move backwards after decades of civil rights advances towards housing equality that benefit all communities of color. National CAPACD hopes that HUD will immediately reverse this decision, and allow local governments to continue their fair housing assessments.