HUD Proposes New Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule

HUD published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register to implement the Fair Housing Act’s affirmatively furthering fair housing mandate, which directs the government to promote fair housing choice, eliminate disparities in housing and foster inclusive communities. It replaces a previous policy discontinued by the Trump Administration.

The proposed rule streamlines the required fair housing analysis for local communities, states, and public housing agencies and requires them to set ambitious goals to address fair housing issues facing their communities, among other landmark changes. 

HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said the proposed rule remedies effects of the long history of discrimination in housing and will help to foster opportunity in communities across the country. 

“This proposed rule is a major step towards fulfilling the law’s full promise and advancing our legal, ethical, and moral charge to provide equitable access to opportunity for all,” Fudge said. 

“Affirmatively furthering fair housing means more than merely steering clear of housing discrimination violations” said Demetria L. McCain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “This action will help make the purpose of the Fair Housing Act reality by making it easier for local communities to identify inequities and make concrete commitments to address them.” 

This proposed rule would spur HUD program participants to take action in order to ensure members of protected classes have equitable access to affordable housing opportunities. It incorporates much of the framework of the 2015 AFFH rule, which was effective for only a short time before the previous Administration dismantled it, and includes several refinements based on feedback HUD received from a variety of stakeholders. 

In particular, the proposed rule is designed to simplify the required fair housing analysis, emphasize goal-setting, increase transparency for public review and comment, foster local commitment to addressing fair housing issues, enhance HUD technical assistance to local communities, and provide mechanisms for regular program evaluation and greater accountability, among other changes.  

Under the proposed rule, program participants every five years would submit to HUD for review and acceptance an Equity Plan. That plan, which must be developed following community engagement, would contain their analysis of fair housing issues confronting their communities, goals, and strategies to remedy those issues in concrete ways, and a description of community engagement.  The proposed rule would then require program participants to incorporate goals and strategies from their accepted Equity Plans into subsequent planning documents (e.g., Consolidated Plans, Annual Action Plans, and Public Housing Agency Plans).  

In addition, program participants would be required to conduct and submit to HUD annual progress evaluations that describe progress toward and/or any needed modifications of each goal in the Equity Plan. Both the Equity Plans and the annual progress evaluations would be posted online. The proposed rule includes provisions that permit members of the public to file complaints with HUD if program participants are not living up to their AFFH commitments and various other provisions that enable HUD to ensure that program participants are held accountable for complying with this rule. 

HUD seeks public comment on this proposed rule and invites all interested parties and members of the public to submit their views, comments, and recommendations for improvement for this proposal.  Comments may be submitted electronically through, or through the methods described in the proposed rule.  

Read HUD’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.  

For further information, reference this fact sheet and quick reference guide.