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HUD’s Carson Discusses End of AFFH Rule

Late last month, HUD announced that it would be terminating the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation. The regulation was issued in 2015 and, according to HUD's statement, proved to be “complicated, costly, and ineffective.” HUD had previously suspended the regulation's 92-question grading tool in January 2018. While there has been blowback from critics who believe the rule should have remained in place, HUD Secretary Dr. Benjamin Carson recently appeared on Fox News to discuss the reasons HUD was moving away from the AFFH, as well as weighing in on topics such as the ongoing Black Lives Matters protests around the nation. You can watch the interview via the embed below.

In his previous statement when the rollback of the AFFH rule was announced, Secretary Carson said, "After reviewing thousands of comments on the proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation, we found it to be unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with, too often resulting in funds being steered away from communities that need them most. Instead, the Trump Administration has established programs like Opportunity Zones that are driving billions of dollars of capital into underserved communities where affordable housing exists, but opportunity does not."

Secretary Carson added, “Programs like this shift the burden away from communities so they are not forced to comply with complicated regulations that require hundreds of pages of reporting and instead allow communities to focus more of their time working with Opportunity Zone partners to revitalize their communities so upward mobility, improved housing, and homeownership is within reach for more people. Washington has no business dictating what is best to meet your local community’s unique needs.”

HUD’s new rule—Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice—defines fair housing to mean housing is affordable, safe, decent, free of unlawful discrimination, and accessible under civil rights laws.

The rule defines “affirmatively furthering fair housing” as any action rationally related to promoting any of the above attributes of fair housing.

To read a cross-section of industry reaction to the AFFH changes, click here.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at David.Wharton@theMReport.com.
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