On June 10, 2021, HUD announced the publication of the interim final rule restoring a long-standing Fair Housing Act requirement for recipients of HUD funding to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (“AFFH”). The interim final rule restores the robust definition of the duty to affirmatively further fair housing, originally adopted in 2015.
The Fair Housing Act requires HUD and recipients of HUD funding, including local governments, to take affirmative steps to remedy fair housing issues, such as racially segregated neighborhoods and unequal access to housing opportunities.
In 2015, HUD promulgated a rule that compelled each covered funding recipient to undertake a defined fair housing planning process, including a requirement to complete an assessment of fair housing issues, identify fair housing priorities and goals, and then commit to meaningful actions to meet those goals and remedy identified issues. In 2020, the rule’s implementation was suspended and redefined.
Under the restored AFFH rule local governments and other recipients of HUD funding must regularly certify compliance with the Fair Housing Act’s AFFH requirement and commit to taking steps to remedy their unique fair housing issues. To support compliance with AFFH, HUD has committed to provide technical assistance and provide a voluntary process that funding recipients can choose to use to identify the fair housing concerns that exist locally.
The interim final rule will go into effect on July 31, 2021. HUD will take comments for 30 days after publication and may act on them prior to the effective date of the rule.
HUD has further stated its intent to undertake a separate rulemaking process to build upon and further improve the 2015 AFFH rule intended to improve outcomes for communities across the country.
More from this Newsletter Issue: Summer 2021
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