HUD proposes new rule for Fair Housing Act

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed a new rule for how local jurisdictions must comply with the fair housing requirement that they affirmatively further fair housing.

The requirement is at the heart of Westchester County’s legal troubles with the Fair Housing Act that led to a 2009 settlement still bedeviling the county. A District Court found the county had falsely certified that it had affirmatively furthered fair housing because it didn’t analyze race in its study of impediments to fair housing. The analysis is still at the center of the problems with the implementation of the settlement, particularly the analysis of zoning.

The new rule will replace the Analysis of Impediments with a new process for analyzing obstacles to fair housing and developing plans to overcome them. In proposing the rule, HUD acknowledged that the old way didn’t work well; the requirements were vague and little enforced.

“HUD’s Fair Housing Planning Guide (Planning Guide), a document issued in 1996, provides extensive suggestions but does not fully articulate the goals that AFFH must advance,” the proposed rule says. “In addition, HUD has never provided data to grantees to help frame their analysis, and AIs are not regularly submitted to HUD for review.”

It goes on to say: “the GAO found that there has been uneven attention paid to the AI by local communities in part because sufficient guidance and clarity was viewed as lacking. Specifically, GAO noted the uneven quality of existing AIs and found that ‘HUD’s limited regulatory requirements and oversight’ contribute to many grantees placing a ‘low priority on ensuring that their AIs serve as effective planning tools.'”

Here’s more from HUD:

HUD PUBLISHES NEW PROPOSED RULE ON AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a new proposed rule to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) in the Federal Register today and made available background materials and a prototype geospatial tool. AFFH refers to the 1968 Fair Housing Act’s obligation for state and local governments to improve and achieve more meaningful outcomes from fair housing policies, so that every American has the right to fair housing, regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status.

“This proposed rule represents a 21st century approach to fair housing, a step forward to ensuring that every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of – where they have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in life,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “For the first time ever, HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class. Long-term solutions will involve various strategies, such as helping people gain access to different neighborhoods and channeling investments into underserved areas. ”

The proposed rule was drafted in response to a 2010 GAO report and numerous requests from stakeholders, advocates, and HUD program participants seeking clear guidance and technical assistance. The proposed rule refines existing requirements so the individuals, organizations, and state and local governments implementing HUD programs better understand their requirements under the Fair Housing Act and have the tools they need to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, ensuring that every American has the opportunity to live in the community of their choice without facing discrimination.

Under the proposed new rule, HUD will provide program participants with:

• A more clearly articulated definition of what it means to affirmatively further fair housing;

• An assessment template that replaces the current, loosely defined Analysis of Impediments;

• Nationally uniform data and a geospatial tool; and

• Clear guidance and technical assistance.

As part of a larger, locally-driven assessment process with public input, the data and guidance will provide an invaluable starting point as communities work to better understand their fair housing barriers and establish clear goals. Goals developed in the assessment process will connect to investment plans at the local and state levels where communities will outline their strategies. HUD anticipates that the new AFFH rule will empower local decision-making and foster smart government and better housing policies. The new rule will also better fulfill the aims of the Fair Housing Act through this proposed AFFH process rooted in data and integrated into other planning processes.

As part of the rule making process, members of the public will have an opportunity to review the proposed AFFH rule and submit their thoughts, comments or questions via Regulations.gov. The public comment period will last for 60 days starting on Friday July 19th.

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  1. Well! As mentioned that “. . .The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed a new rule for how local jurisdictions must comply with the fair housing requirement that they affirmatively further fair housing…”

    I am Sorry to disappoint! But, what Good is “Proposing a new Rule” by HUD? Particularly, when its can’t even get to no where attempting to influence “the monotony of what is become Fashionable Exercise since the End of Second World War!

    I as an American Constitutionalist with a Full and Foremost Background on US History is failing to comprehend How long are We the People wander around “Fair Housing” How long more is this young to continue?

    The 59 Men who Stood-up from 13 Separate Colonies back in 1776 never “made” this a “Such a Big Issue” I may not be wrong to mention that this was never been a Topic even since the Early Inception of Our Country’s History, Formation and Constitution!

    Never! Read of Heard about it!

    The Ten Amendments, The Civil Rights Act, The Miranda Rights, Press 2 for Engish! The Present Majority ( reluctant) to giveup their Minorities Status and so so and so on! The Hud wants to establish new Rules! I don’t think that I am that Stupid not to comprehend that why can’t We The People and Their Representatives work towards not having Projects or This Kind of Issue! Why can we or why are we not Focused in Making Our Nation’s Inhabitants rise up by raising their Standards that The People who love in low income neighborhoods become so much successful that we don’t need such segregated communities!

    Why does the HUD and Our Government seems to be more status-quo focused to keep ” Fair Housing” alive in Emergency Room?
    When We as One People going to pull the Plug and be one Nation!

    I think Fair Housing is as obselete as Eisenhower’s ” Military Industrial Complex” yawning!

    Yata!Yata!Yata!

    If HUD wants to maintain ” Fail Housing” it should not maintain ITS functionssvlike The White House maintains in its Premises ” The Office of Interfaith Disillusionment”! in a Country Founded upon the Principles of Separation of Politics From Church!

    Similarly, THE HUD’s Crying Wolf is echoing around The Nation. Hey! Wake up! Its 21st Century!

    Concluding, I must say a ” Super 8 Motel” demonstrates more ” Fair Housing and Even Sharing the Same Bed for a One Night Stand that these Laws and Philosophies being proposed!

    LOL!

    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller

  2. Eyes Wide Open on

    The “United Corporations of America:” and the bought and paid for politicians and officials that We the people think we elected that do the bidding of the corporate behemoths and local feudal empires, don’t want equality. Then they wouldn’t be able to look in the mirror and agrandize themselves as to how much better a class of humans they think they are and expend their control over us!!!! If our education system was set up equally across the country, inner city or suburban,so that the people could expect a decent nay I say a good or great education anywhere and a better or should I say an actuall livable wage, that would not be to good for them. For supposedluy such a great Industrial country, we have a rather pitiful ranking in the level of education compared to mnay other Industrial countries and below even some so-called third world countries. How low are we going to let The Undited Corporations take the American People?????????????

  3. Eyes Wide Open on

    Completing my statement above, with better wages there would be less need of social services and more tax revenue. I don’t believe that the financial geniuses in office don’t realize this. There must be more money in it for them or someone to let things go the way it does.

  4. EYES WIDE OPEN
    HABIBHASAN
    FOR PRESIDENT

    . . . may be the new Campaign For The Office of The President will look and Compose of Candidates like these?

    Thank You! Eyes Wide Shut for such good explanations and analysis! Your care and commitment are praise worthy!

    God Bless America! My Fellow American!

  5. As a registered Democrat and a long- time resident of Westchester County – I am playing catch up with this whole sordid affair. Let start with the legal aid entity that brought the suit against Westchester County – and then received a $ 7 million “payout”. To the bumbling incompetence of our last county executive – Andy Spano – who agreed to this ridiculous “settlement’… The crux of the problem from what I can see is that apparently some people take offence that towns like Scarsdale – has no section 8 housing ( or very little ?) .. apparently this can and should be “remedied” by the Federal Government – thru their agent “ HUD” – thru the vehicle of using block grants to government entities like Westchester as a Trojan horse to advance some very radical (thru arcane language in the Fair Housing Act circa 1968 ?) – of forced integration of wealthy (and too “white”) areas – that apparently are not racially mixed enough – for some ideologues… I think the people who live in these particular towns would/should take offence to this ugly characterization… (residents who live in these towns of all races and creeds )… Weren’t these abysmal policies of forces integration advanced in the 60 ‘s and 70’s subject to categorical failure.. Although these ideologues think forcing rich people to live with poor people will somehow solve all the underlying social ills – or maybe it is just a “stick in the eye”. I think once this whole ugly maneuver by HUD is subject is given a fair hearing (is this legal / constitutional ??!!) – it will be a bad day for the Democratic (and HUD) party both in Westchester County and nationwide. The subject of how Westchester has been “treated” by the HUD has already made lots of other local governments leery of accepting HUD block grants – which ironically has only hurt the people these grants are designed to help !!!