Washington, DC – August 3, 2020 – The recent revocation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (AFFH) by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) represents the sanctioned return of segregated housing according to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the country’s oldest minority real estate trade association.
NAREB president, Donnell Williams stated that, “HUD’s action sets fair housing policy back more than 50 years and stands to undo decades of progress to achieve Democracy in Housing.” In 2015, the Obama Administration issued the AFFH rule requiring HUD grant recipients, (states and localities) to examine fair housing policies on the basis of race. The rule further required that the states and localities address any measurable bias. The intent of the AFFH rule was to take a proactive role in enforcing fair housing policy under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
The new rule entitled, “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice,” allows states and localities to have final say whether their policies are “furthering fair housing.” and will have very little guidance, or even incentive to ensure that fair housing policies are indeed protecting the rights and interests of Black and other Americans who have been, or may be discriminated against in the future.
“The new replacement rule represents yet another setback In the struggle to close the racial wealth gap and thwart the growth of Black homeownership,” Williams stated. For decades, local governments had racial covenants that prevented Black Americans from buying properties in certain neighborhoods. These racially discriminatory efforts were augmented by redlining of Black neighborhoods by various federal agencies and lenders.
“In spite of these obvious attempts to roll back the clock, NAREB will continue to serve as the champions of the communities we serve as well as the conscience of the real estate and mortgage lending industries,” Williams added.