The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a proposed rule titled “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH). The proposed rule would create new processes for HUD program participants to follow in planning, implementing, and documenting their efforts to advance fair housing. Under the federal Fair Housing Act, HUD program recipients are required to take proactive steps to address housing disparities and advance equity and access to opportunity in their communities.
The new AFFH process would require HUD grantees to submit Equity Plans outlining fair housing goals and strategies for agency review every five years. Equity Plans share several features with the Assessments of Fair Housing previously required under a 2015 HUD rule. In its new proposal, HUD has attempted to streamline the fair housing analysis process while building out community engagement requirements and introducing a new complaint-driven enforcement mechanism. A Quick Reference Guide to the proposed rule is available from HUD. Organizations like the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Fair Housing Alliance also offer resources for understanding the provisions of the proposed rule and its historical context.
HUD is accepting public comments on the proposed rule until April 10, 2023, and has published a short technical guide to drafting and submitting comments. A more extensive comment guide is available from PolicyLink. Cities in the Lab’s network may be especially interested in HUD’s request for input on ways to reduce the burdens of the AFFH analysis on small program participants, including:
- How to adapt community engagement requirements for smaller jurisdictions while ensuring meaningful input from underserved communities
- How to address aspects of the analysis that may not be relevant to smaller participants
- How HUD can facilitate partnerships to complete joint Equity Plans
The Lab welcomes the opportunity to speak with cities and their partners about the proposed rule and the public comment process. Please contact Peer Cities Manager Jess Wunsch at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.