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HUD Proposes New ‘Affirmative’ Fair-Housing Rule

To fulfill the “promise of the 1968 Fair Housing act,” HUD’s rule requires the submission of “Equity Plans” every five years and “robust community engagement.”

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will soon publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register to “fulfill the promise of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.”

HUD says in announcing the proposed rule that it “implements the Fair Housing Act’s affirmatively furthering fair housing mandate, which directs the government to promote fair housing choice, eliminate disparities in housing, and foster inclusive communities.” It “streamlines the required fair housing analysis for local communities, states and public housing agencies and requires them to set ambitious goals to address fair housing issues facing their communities, among other landmark changes.”

What would the rule do?

The rule would push HUD program participants to affirmatively ensure members of protected classes have equitable access to affordable housing opportunities, and brings back large portions of the 2015 AFFH rule, which went into effect for a short time before the Trump Administration dismantled it. However, it also includes several refinements based on feedback HUD received from stakeholders.

Under the proposal, program participants would submit an “Equity Plan” to HUD every five years. The plan must be “developed following robust community engagement,” contain an analysis of their community’s fair housing issues, strategies to remedy those issues and a description of community engagement.

Once completed, the proposed rule would then require participants to incorporate goals and strategies from their accepted Equity Plans into subsequent planning documents (e.g., Consolidated Plans, Annual Action Plans, and Public Housing Agency Plans).

In addition, program participants would submit annual progress evaluations to HUD.

Both the Equity Plans and the annual progress evaluations would be posted online, where members of the public could file complaints if they believe HUD participants aren’t living up to their AFFH commitments.

HUD currently is seeking public comment on the proposed rule and invites all interested parties and members of the public to submit their views, comments and recommendations. Comments may be submitted electronically through, or through the methods described in the proposed rule.

Read HUD’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

For further information, please reference this fact sheetquick reference guide, and public comment how to guide.

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