HUD Moves to Restore Obama Fair Housing Mandate

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With HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge’s reinstatement of a 2015 rule making it mandatory that communities accepting federal funds take steps to ensure against residential segregation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has taken the first step in reinstating the Obama era rule to address the persistent inequities in house for people of color.  

“More than 50 years since the Fair Housing Act’s passage, inequities in our communities remain that block families from moving into neighborhoods with greater opportunities,” said Fudge.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters was among those applauding the move.

“I am pleased that Secretary Fudge has begun to reverse the previous administration’s actions that gutted the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule,” said Waters. “Under President Obama, HUD instituted the AFFH Rule to fully enforce provisions of the Fair Housing Act and strengthen local jurisdictions’ fair housing planning requirements. Instead of continuing the efforts to hold localities accountable to remedy racial residential segregation and ensure equitable investment in every community, the Trump Administration weakened protections by altering the definition of AFFH to focus on housing production, not fairness, absent accountability mechanisms. 

“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, these changes left communities all the more vulnerable to heightened housing discrimination,” she continued. “Since the Trump Administration began its attack on civil rights in this country, I have been sounding the alarm on the importance of preserving the 2015 AFFH and 2013 Disparate Impact regulations. In December 2020, I called on then President-Elect Biden to take immediate action to undo the damage done by the previous administration.

The 2015 rule required local governments to analyze patterns of segregation and poverty and submit plans to address those patterns in order to receive funding through HUD grant programs, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships programs. 

In January, Biden directed HUD to reverse the actions taken by Trump administration to undermine fair housing tenets.

During his visit to Tulsa earlier this month, Biden addressed his plans to stimulate Black wealth in part by curtailing housing discrimination with vigorous enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.

Said Biden, “My administration has launched an aggressive effort to combat racial discrimination in housing. That includes everything from redlining to the cruel fact that a home owned by a Black family is too often appraised at a lower value than a similar home owned by a White family.”


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