Affirmatively furthering fair housing
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing is a provision of the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. The law requires that "All executive departments and agencies shall administer their programs and activities relating to housing and urban development (including any Federal agency having regulatory or supervisory authority over financial institutions) in a manner affirmatively to further the purposes of" the Fair Housing Act. The law also requires the Secretary of HUD to administer all HUD programs in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing. Since the Fair Housing Act has a dual purpose - both the elimination of all forms of housing discrimination and residentially segregated communities, affirmatively furthering fair housing is essentially fulfilling the dual purpose of the law. In July 2015, HUD promulgated the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule pursuant to the Fair Housing Act. It requires cities and towns which receive Federal money for any housing or urban development related purpose to examine whether there are any barriers to fair housing, housing patterns or practices that promote bias based on any protected class under the Fair Housing Act, and to create a plan for rectifying fair housing barriers. The intention is to promote equal housing opportunities and level the playing field so that all neighborhoods provide the quality services and amenities that are important for people to live successful lives. Civil rights groups have hailed the rule citing decades-long patterns of government-sponsored segregation and discriminatory practices, while conservatives have decried it as "social engineering." However, the 2015 affirmatively furthering fair housing rule was later weakened by the Trump Administration's HUD Secretary Ben Carson on May 18, 2018.
Under the rule, any jurisdiction that receives money from HUD must analyze its housing occupancy by race, disability, familial status, economic status, English proficiency, and other categories. It must then analyze factors which contribute to any prohibitive barriers in housing and formulate a plan to remedy the impediments. The plan can be approved or disapproved by HUD. This is done at both the local and regional level. For example, a major city, such as Chicago, will have to analyze any racial disparities within Chicago, and Chicago suburbs will analyze their own racial disparities. In addition, Chicago and the suburbs will have to analyze any disparities as compared with each other. Thereafter, the community has to track progress (or lack thereof). The planning cycle will be repeated every five years. If the Federal Government is not satisfied with a community's efforts to reduce disparities, federal funds could be withheld, Since May 18, 2018, however, the Local Government Assessment Tool computer program which had been launched in 2015 to review the HUD housing discrimination data has been inactive.
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- Badger, Emily. "Obama administration to unveil major new rules targeting segregation across U.S." Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- "New rules require cities to fight housing segregation". Retrieved 3 August 2015.