WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), led by Secretary Marcia Fudge, announced steps to restore two key fair housing rules that the Trump Administration had gutted: (1) a regulation on the "disparate impact" standard for proving discrimination and (2) a regulation for the dismantling of segregation, as required by the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) section of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The Office of Management and Budget posted notices indicating that the HUD rules have been accepted for review.
"President Biden and Secretary Fudge are keeping their promise to restore these crucial fair housing rules," said Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Executive Vice President Nikitra Bailey. "Systemic discrimination continues to limit housing opportunity for Black and brown communities and stunts our country’s economic growth. Reinstating the original Disparate Impact and AFFH rules will move us closer to achieving a more just society where everyone has access to opportunity. Moreover, given the large amounts of federal funding subject to the AFFH requirement being distributed, there is an urgency to restore the rule’s obligations on jurisdictions."
Bailey added, "HUD’s step today is an important stride forward. We will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to ensure that the Fair Housing Act’s promise of strong and thriving communities free of discrimination is realized. Covid-19’s ravaging of communities of color leaves us much more work to do. Today’s actions, along with legislation to bolster our nation’s housing infrastructure, are central to building back better."
Disparate Impact is a decades-old legal standard for demonstrating discrimination. In 2013, HUD issued a regulation that codified this standard as it relates to housing. The Trump Administration gutted the rule, but implementation of this change is currently on hold by court order. Today’s announcement from HUD shows that reinstatement of the 2013 Disparate Impact regulation is at the Proposed Rule stage.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) is the name of a section in the 1968 Fair Housing Act. AFFH is a legal requirement that federal agencies and recipients of federal funds actively address and work to eliminate housing discrimination and segregation. In 2015, HUD issued a regulation that equipped communities that receive HUD funding with data and tools to help them comply with long-standing fair housing obligations. The Trump Administration rolled back this rule. Today, HUD announced that it planned to restore the statutory definitions and certifications of the 2015 rule. The rule is at the Interim Final Rule stage.
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