Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. While the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) is currently analyzing the NPRM, preliminary assessments are concerning.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC, made the following statement:
“This proposal doesn’t address segregation, and that’s the whole point of the AFFH provisions of the Fair Housing Act. It focuses on income without consideration of all the other barriers to affordable housing. It cuts back the opportunities for members of local communities to have a say. And it would no longer require jurisdictions to determine what barriers exist in their areas, instead allowing them to determine their own fair housing goals. But perhaps the most egregious aspect of this proposal is that much of it is vague or undefined, which will no doubt lead to confusion at best and abuse at worst.
“You might as well take the words affirmatively and fair out of this and just call it the furthering housing policy. Or maybe just ‘housing policy,’ because I’m not sure what it furthers other than developers looking to make more money, and Nimby’s (not in my backyard) who want to keep people out of their neighborhoods. This rule certainly won’t have a positive impact on addressing America’s deep and unfair racial wealth divide, or persistent patterns of racial segregation that continue to create unfair and unjust life outcomes for people based on their zip code.”