HUD’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
Local governments and States that receive Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), as well as public housing agencies (PHAs) are required to affirmatively further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act. To better facilitate this obligation, as well as address issues raised by the Government Accountability Office, HUD proposes an improved structure and process whereby HUD would provide these program participants with guidance, data, and an assessment template from which they would complete an assessment of fair housing (the AFH). This assessment would then link to Consolidated Plans, PHA Plans, and Capital Fund Plans, meaningfully informing resulting investments and related policies to affirmatively further fair housing.
The AFH focuses program participants’ analysis on four primary goals: improving integrated living patterns and overcoming historic patterns of segregation; reducing racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty; reducing disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets such as education, transit access, and employment, as well as exposure to environmental health hazards and other stressors that harm a person’s quality of life; and responding to disproportionate housing needs by protected class. HUD would provide all program participants with nationally uniform data on these four areas of focus as well as outstanding discrimination findings. Once program participants have analyzed the HUD data, as well as local or regional information they choose to add, they would identify the primary determinants influencing fair housing conditions, prioritize addressing these conditions, and set one or more goals for mitigating or addressing their determinants.
The proposed rule encourages local governments, States, and PHAs to work together on the AFH, and also facilitates regional AFHs that cover regions that need not be contiguous and may even cross state boundaries. The AFH would also reflect substantial public input through community participation and stakeholder consultation.
Purpose of the User Friendly Guide
This document outlines the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed strategy to refine and improve the process currently known as the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI), which HUD grant recipients must undertake in keeping with their obligation to ‘affirmatively further fair housing’(AFFH). HUD seeks public comment on this proposed approach and will incorporate all ideas that effectively enhance the spirit and requirements of the Fair Housing Act. While HUD drafted this proposal principally for HUD program participants, including states, local governments, and public housing agencies, HUD hopes that a broader audience of civil rights advocates, affordable housing developers, community development organizations, academics, housing development agencies, and other members of the public interested in fair housing in their communities will provide input. The goal of the proposed rule is to address concerns raised by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and stakeholders about the current AI process in order to better equip communities to fulfill their fair housing obligations and plan in a manner that promotes fair housing choice.
To read the Regulatory Impact Analysis, click here.
To read the data methodology document, click here.
Assessment Tool for 60-day PRA
In July of 2013, HUD released a proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and is in the process of considering all of the comments received from the public. As part of the rulemaking process and adherent to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), HUD must complete two PRA notice and comment periods—the first for 60 days and the second for 30 days—for any information HUD will ask program participants to provide as part of their AFFH obligation. HUD has developed a draft of the Assessment Tool, often referred to as the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH)—the standardized form that basically operationalizes the substance of the proposed Rule. Under the proposed Rule, grantees would use HUD-provided data and maps along with local knowledge and data to complete their AFH, ultimately establishing fair housing goals that they would then address via the PHA or Consolidated Plans. The Assessment Tool PRA package consists of the draft AFH, a preamble, and PDFs of HUD-provided data and maps so grantees can get a better understanding of how they would fulfill the AFFH obligation. This package is designed for entitlement jurisdictions and PHAs who complete their AFH in partnership with an entitlement jurisdiction. HUD plans to produce separate AFHs for states and PHAs that complete an AFH on their own. At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, HUD will evaluate and integrate feedback into the next version of the AFH, which it will release for a second PRA comment period of 30 days.
To read the preamble, which walks through the content of the draft Assessment, please click here.
To view the draft Assessment, please click here.
To view the HUD-provided data tables referenced in the Assessment, please click here.
To view the HUD-provided maps referenced in the Assessment, please click here.
To view the Federal Register, please click here.