The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a proposed rule for complying with the Fair Housing Act’s requirement that HUD program participants affirmatively further fair housing.

HUD currently requires local governments, states, and public housing authorities that receive HUD funds to certify that they will affirmatively further fair housing. For jurisdictions that receive HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), or Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) funds, compliance with this obligation occurs through development of an analysis of impediments (AI) to fair housing and a commitment to take actions to address identified impediments. Public housing authorities generally comply through their annual PHA Plan process.

The proposed rule issued by HUD seeks to strengthen and clarify the requirements for affirmatively furthering fair housing. Proposed changes to current requirements include the following:

  • Requirement that jurisdictions and public housing agencies that administer HOME, CDBG, ESG, HOPWA, or public housing (Section 8 or 9) funds develop an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The AFH replaces the AI. Public housing authorities may create their own AFH or may participate in their local government’s development of one. For housing authorities covered by state agencies, the housing authority will be bound by the state AFH and may participate in its development.
  • Revision of the annual PHA Plan to require more discussion in PHA policies of the steps that will be taken by the housing authority to further fair housing.
  • Provision of fair housing data by HUD to program participants to facilitate planning. The data is intended to assist with the AFH and addressing fair housing issues. It will address issues including patterns of integration and segregation, racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, discrimination, persons with disabilities, and access to employment, transportation, education, and other factors that may assist with fair housing choice.
  • Inclusion of multiple definitions of terms, including a new definition for “affirmatively furthering fair housing.”

Comments on the proposed rule are due September 17, 2013. Ballard Spahr will continue to monitor and report on developments regarding affirmatively furthering fair housing. If you wish to discuss the proposed rule or have any questions, please contact Sharon Wilson Géno at 202.661.2218 or genos@ballardspahr.com, or Amy M. Glassman at 202.661.7680 or glassmana@ballardspahr.com.


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