Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s announcement that it is terminating the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule.
“It is deeply shameful that as families across the nation suffer during this ongoing pandemic crisis, HUD Secretary Ben Carson is focused on undermining fair housing protections by terminating the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule,” said the Chairs.
“The Fair Housing Act makes housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability illegal. The law includes a requirement that recipients of federal housing funding and the agencies of the federal government must “affirmatively further fair housing,” meaning that they must administer funds and programs in ways that actively undo and do not perpetuate patterns of historic residential segregation and systemic disinvestment. In 2015, the Obama Administration issued a rule to implement this important provision with a requirement for robust assessments of fair housing from each recipient of HUD funding and to equip local governments and other recipients of federal housing funds with data for their fair housing planning.
“This senseless and misguided decision to roll back that important progress comes as the President peddles racist rhetoric that is reminiscent of the fearmongering tactics of those who supported racial segregation prior to the Fair Housing Act. HUD should be focused on addressing this pandemic crisis, which is on the verge of escalating into an eviction and foreclosure crisis that is projected to disproportionately affect people of color and other protected classes, not on diminishing fair housing. We will be taking legislative action to reinstate this critical rule.”
In March, Chairwoman Waters led a letter to Benjamin Carson, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), urging him to withdraw the agency’s harmful 2020 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proposal.
In January, Chairwoman Waters issued a statement regarding the Trump Administration’s proposal to replace the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule issued under President Obama with a much weaker rule.
In 2018, then-Ranking Member Waters introduced H.R. 6220, the Restoring Fair Housing Protections Eliminated by HUD Act of 2018, a bill to restore several fair housing protections that Secretary Carson eliminated, including by requiring the HUD Secretary to implement the 2015 AFFH rule as soon as practicable after the date of enactment.