Defund HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule

Background: On July 8, 2015, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finalized language for a new housing regulation named the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (AFFH). This new 377 page rule, first implemented in mid-August of 2015, empowers the Federal government to audit the demographic and socioeconomic status of local communities in order to force state and local governments to enhance diversity among its community makeup.

All local jurisdictions that receive HUD funding, particularly through the Community Development Block Grant program, are subject to this rule and must identify factors and communities assets that contribute to the racial disparities in their communities compared to those at the local and regional level around them. Once this evaluation is complete, localities must develop a plan on how to fix the racial disparities and submit it to HUD for approval.

Problem: AFFH effectively turns HUD into a National Zoning Authority for every locality across the country. Suburban neighbors will have to compare themselves with neighboring cities and essentially rewrite their zoning laws and pay for affordable housing projects and other community development projects to encourage housing diversity and affordability in their communities.

According to department officials, this rule is needed because “increasing a neighborhood’s appeal to families with different income and ethnic profiles can encourage a more diversified population and reduce isolation.” While this may be a goal worth pursuing, local authorities, not unaccountable federal bureaucrats should be making these decisions.

As Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) so plainly puts it, “In other words, this new regulation is designed to give unelected, anonymous bureaucrats in Washington the power to pick and choose who your new next-door neighbor will be. If they don’t believe your neighborhood is “diverse” enough, they will seize control of local zoning decisions—choosing what should be built, where, and who should pay for it—in order to make your neighborhood look more like they want it to.”

Solution: Congress must use its Constitutional power of the purse to defund any implementation of the AFFH rule. The House of Representatives has already passed Rep. Paul Gosar’s (AZ) amendment to defund the AFFH rule and attached it to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The Senate must now take up and pass Sen. Lee’s AFFH defunding amendment to make sure this reaches the President’s desk and is signed into law. Local communities, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., should determine the social and economic makeup of their own neighborhoods.

Please Share Your Thoughts

9 thoughts on “Defund HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule

  1. Please do not allow President Obama to dictate who lives in our neighborhood. Freedom means all people have the right to keep what they have legally earned and decide where they will live. Creating better jobs by supporting businesses will allow more people to be able to afford attractive communities for their residence.

  2. Unbelievable how the present administration has eroded our freedoms and our federal reps have done nothing to stop this king/dictator. We need new leaders.

  3. This is just an example of our over-reaching government and their plan to flood our nation with immigrants, both legal and illegal, and that is all it is intended for

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  5. All of this stems from one source: the 1946 Fedaral Adminstrtive Procedures Act, where Congress gave to agencies of the Esxecutive Branch the power to write laws and create taxes (fees), making the agencies self supporting. This flies directly in the face of separation of powers and the Constitution’s edict that ALL laws are to be written by the Congress and Congress has the power of taxation.

    Congress must repeal the Administrative Procedures Act or the power of the Executive and Judicial branches will only grow more and more oppressive.

    • @Michael – it more directly stems from the Fair Housing Act, which mandates that the federal government affirmatively further fair housing. I think if you disagree with that goal, you should repeal the law rather than go after a regulation that is being passed in order to enforce the law that Congress passed.

  6. Por fechamento … estou já que desistindo de abalroar qualquer prescrever
    gostosa de outro modo que ao menos negativo tenha apetite em tal grau fortificação a
    adulação … que jamais assim seja brigadeiro!

  7. I’ve read a lot of right-leaning pieces on the AFFH rule, but I’m disappointed by the lack of context and basic background that comes with AFFH. I wish more authors would present the best version of their adversary’s argument, and then proceed to critique it, rather than a weak or incomplete version of what they are arguing against. Liberals just as often do this, and it’s just as disappointing and leaves readers less informed.

    So my main complaint is that I never see the Fair Housing Act mentioned – as it is absent here. The Fair Housing Act, which became law in 1968, outlaws certain forms of discrimination, but it also goes further and **mandates** that the government “affirmatively” further fair housing. That’s the background to AFFH that is critical to know. It’s fair to critique the Fair Housing Act, it was passed quickly after MLK’s assassination, but ignoring it when discussing AFFH seems like a big missed opportunity.

    So what I’d like to see a right-leaning author address – if you are a GOP president in charge of enforcing the nation’s laws – should you ignore that part of the law? Or if you enforce it, how would you go about doing it? Would you ask Congress to repeal that part of the law? After decades of things like redlining and Jim Crow that gave us enormously segregated neighborhoods, should aspiring to integrate neighborhoods and chipping away at that historical segregation simply be a goal that is given up?

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