The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced the department will ultimately terminate the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation issued in 2015, reporting it was “complicated, costly and ineffective—so much so that Secretary Carson essentially removed its burden on communities by suspending the regulation’s 92-question grading tool in January 2018.”
“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,” said Secretary Carson.” 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. 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.”
National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Vince Malta issued the following statement in response.
“The National Association of REALTORS® is disappointed that HUD has taken this step, which significantly weakens the federal government’s commitment to the goals of the Fair Housing Act,” said Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif. “The viability of our 1.4 million members depends on the free, transparent and efficient transfer of property in this country, and NAR maintains that a strong, affirmative fair housing rule is vital to advancing our nation’s progress toward thriving and inclusive communities. With the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color reminding us of the costs of the failure to address barriers to housing opportunity, NAR remains committed to ensuring no American is unfairly denied this fundamental right in the future.”
Following the administration’s initial proposal in January, NAR publicly commented that the changes threatened to strip away the rule’s original civil rights purpose, as mandated by the 1968 law.
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.