WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development has decided to restore a key fair housing rule that was withdrawn under the Trump administration and promised to put in place a separate settlement to improve equity in local communities.
The “Affirmatively Fostering Fair Housing Rule” was drafted by the Obama administration in 2015. It should encourage local governments and communities to meet their obligations under the Fair Housing Act to provide affordable housing and avoid housing discrimination.
But the Trump administration suspended the rule before it could go into effect, and then-President Donald Trump officially withdrew the rule last year through an executive order. His government had argued that the rule was ineffective and too prescriptive.
“As a former mayor and member of Congress, I know firsthand the importance of giving communities the tools they need to ensure their communities have access to safe, affordable housing close to quality Schools, transportation and jobs have, ”said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
The HUD published a tentative final rule on Thursday to restore the measure. Under the new rule, local communities and others receiving HUD grants are required to conduct an assessment of the housing issues in their communities and develop plans to address these issues.
The HUD will also "provide a voluntary process" that HUD grant recipients can intervene to identify fair living issues and develop plans to resolve them. The department will provide "technical assistance and assistance" to grant recipients who choose to enter this process, HUD said in a press release.
“As a former mayor and member of Congress, I know firsthand the importance of giving communities the tools they need to ensure their communities have access to safe, affordable housing close to quality Schools, transportation and jobs have, ”said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge in a statement. "HUD is taking a critical step today to affirm that a child's future should never be restricted by the zip code in which they were born."
The tentative final rule will go into effect July 31, and the HUD will accept comments on the rule for 30 days after it is posted on the federal register.
The HUD has also undertaken to go through a separate regulation process at a later date in order to strengthen the affirmative promotion of the regulation for fair living. These improvements could include implementing a new planning process and framework for fair housing construction to increase efficiency, the department said.