The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is planning a two-year delay on the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) policy that would require municipalities to assess local housing patterns for racial bias and to offer plans for correcting the problem if such bias is determined. The department stated it would extend the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) submissions by local governments to Oct. 31, 2020.
“Based on the initial AFH reviews, HUD believes that program participants need additional time and technical assistance to adjust to the new AFFH process and complete AFH submissions that can be accepted by HUD,” the department stated in a notice that is being published today in the Federal Register
. “HUD's decision is informed by the review of AFH submissions received. Based on the first 49 AFH initial submissions that received a determination of accept, non-accept, or deemed accepted from HUD, the Department found that many program participants are striving to meet the requirements of the AFFH rule. In 2017, the Department conducted an evaluation of these submissions and found that more than a third (35 percent) were initially non-accepted.”
HUD added that many AFH program participants “struggled to meet the regulatory requirements of the AFFH rule, such as developing goals that could be reasonably expected to result in meaningful actions to overcome the effects of contributing factors and related fair housing issues. Further, program participants struggled to develop metrics and milestones that would measure their progress as they affirmatively furthering fair housing. HUD determined that program participants’ frequent misunderstanding of how to set clear goals, metrics, and milestones that addressed their identified contributing factors and related fair housing issues often resulted in non-accepted AFHs.”
HUD has yet to issue a formal press statement explaining its decision, which was first reported yesterday in the New York Times.