Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) took action to reinstate the critical 2013 Discriminatory Effects Rule which helps prevent discriminatory practices, and restore crucial portions of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule which ensures that communities that receive federal funds take steps to eliminate barriers to fair housing.
This announcement follows President Biden’s executive order issued in January that ordered HUD to review the effects of the Trump Administration’s rollbacks of these critical fair housing rules, and take the necessary steps to fully implement the Fair Housing Act and prevent discriminatory practices.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), made the following statement:
“We applaud Secretary Fudge and HUD for taking this critical first step to fully enforcing the Fair Housing Act and preventing discriminatory practices.
“Restoring portions of the 2015 AFFH rule could not have come soon enough, as billions of dollars continue to flow into communities across the country from the last stimulus. Now is the time to ensure that this public investment is tied to the removal of widely recognized barriers to fair housing. We urge that HUD take steps to enhance the 2015 AFFH rule to build it back better with sufficient guidance and tools to ensure that compliance is both effective and transparent.
“There is still much to do. We urge the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to strengthen the implementation of disparate impact for credit transactions to better promote fair lending, and we look to HUD to strengthen AFFH in a reproposed rule that uses the 2015 rule as a starting point.
“These actions must also be part of a broad, multi-faceted federal strategy to close racial homeownership gaps, including the Black homeownership gap which is now at its widest point since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. By one measure, to achieve even a 60% Black homeownership rate, still lower than the current white homeownership rate, we must add 165,000 new Black homeowners each year for 20 years.
“In addition to these actions, we look to Congress and the Biden Administration to increase down payment assistance for people shut out of homeownership, ensure that responsible loans are widely available and take bold action to increase the affordable housing supply as part of the anticipated American Jobs Plan proposed by the Biden Administration and other efforts.”