The Trump administration wants to shift the way it enforces an aspect of fair housing around the U.S., pivoting away from efforts to integrate lower-income housing into wealthier neighborhoods in favor of promoting more housing development overall.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the change on Monday.
HUD will begin holding stakeholder hearings on how to change the way it determines whether communities are enforcing the Fair Housing Act, which requires local governments to institute policies that help break down patterns of housing segregation. HUD stakeholders include nonprofit groups, academic researchers and private businesses.
The Obama administration took steps to encourage the development of low-income housing in high-income neighborhoods. In an interview, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said he plans instead to focus on restrictive zoning codes. Stringent codes have limited home construction, thus driving up prices and making it more difficult for low-income families to afford homes, Mr. Carson said.
The shift is expected to derail a signature Obama-era accomplishment. HUD had aimed to use computer technology to make it easier for communities to comply with fair-housing rules and to make it easier for the federal government to check whether they were following those rules.
But local officials in some communities said the process was costly and amounted to the federal government forcing them to put low-cost rental buildings in wealthier areas.