What would it take to meet the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act's requirement that federal entities use their power to "affirmatively further" fair housing? Four new papers published today look at this question by examining whether and how the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) now-delayed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule might spur more inclusive communities.
Under the rule, which was finalized in 2015, local and state institutions receiving federal housing funds must use maps and other local data to conduct an Analysis of Fair Housing (AFH), and also describe their goals for affirmatively furthering fair housing. Many advocates believed the rule was a long overdue effort to finally achieve one of the Fair Housing Act's key, but unmet, goals. However, critics, including many Republican members of Congress as well as then-presidential candidate (and now HUD Secretary) Ben Carson, criticized it as inappropriate social engineering. In January 2018, HUD announced that states and localities do not have to submit their analyses until 2020. While HUD's announcement also noted that entities still have a legal obligation to further fair housing, the rule's supporters fear the delay effectively suspends enforcement of the rule and gives HUD time to dismantle or substantially weaken the new rule. A group of civil rights organizations is currently preparing litigation to enjoin the suspension of action.
The papers, which were originally presented at the symposium A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality in April 2017 (before HUD suspended enforcement actions) examine the rule's potential to produce meaningful change and, in doing so, provide critical context for understanding the implications of HUD's decision to delay the submission of required plans. The four papers are:
|Raphael Bostic, USC|
& Arthur Alcolin,
U of Washington
Relman, Dane &
Additional papers from the A Shared Future symposium are available on the JCHS website. The papers will also be collected into an edited volume to be published later this year.