Earlier today, HUD issued a press release stating its intention to reopen for public comment its 2015 final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) and made available a pre-publication of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which HUD will soon officially publish in the Federal Register. HUD states that, since issuing the final rule, it has concluded the approach taken in the AFFH final rule "is not fulfilling its purpose to be an efficient means for guiding meaningful action by program participants." HUD is specifically soliciting comments on changes that will:
- Minimize regulatory burden while more effectively aiding program participants to plan for fulfilling their obligations to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act;
- Create a process focused primarily on achieving positive results, rather than on analysis of community characteristics;
- Provide for greater local control and innovation;
- Seek to encourage actions that increase housing choice, including through greater housing supply; and
- More efficiently utilize HUD resources.
While the AFFH final rule has been in effect since 2015, state agencies have not begun implementing it because HUD has never finalized the state Fair Housing Assessment Tool it had planned to require states to use under the final rule. HUD finalized and later withdrew a version of the Fair Housing Assessment Tool for local government grantees.
Comments will be due to HUD 60 days from formal publication of the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register. NCSHA will submit comments on behalf of our members and welcomes your input.