HUD restores Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing requirement

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials said the agency’s interim final rule restoring the Fair Housing Act’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) requirement would help address unique fair housing issues.

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HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said publication of the rule defines the duty to affirmatively further fair housing, noting the agency is committed to providing communities receiving HUD funding with the technical support needed to meet fair housing obligations.

“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,” Fudge said. “As a former mayor and Member of Congress, I know firsthand the importance of giving localities the tools they need to ensure their communities have access to safe, affordable housing near quality schools, transportation, and jobs. HUD is taking a critical step to affirm that a child’s future should never be limited by the ZIP code where they are born.”

Under the rule, the agency will provide a voluntary process that funding recipients can use to identify the fair housing concerns existing locally while committing to specific steps to remedy them.

Additionally, the interim final rule will go into effect on July 31, 2021. HUD will take comments for 30 days after publication and could act on them before the rule’s effective date.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, indicated support for HUD’s action via a statement.

“I look forward to doing everything I can to help the Biden Administration and Secretary Fudge prioritize racial and economic justice by strengthening critical protections for those who have been historically and systemically excluded from equal housing opportunities,” Waters noted.

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