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HUD Announces New Proposed “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” Rule.


Taking a Major Step Towards Rooting Out Longstanding Inequities in Housing and Fostering Inclusive Communities

On January 19, 2023, HUD announced it will imminently publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register to fulfill the promise of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The proposed rule aims to remedy the effects of the long history of discrimination in housing, will help to foster opportunity in communities across the country where every resident can thrive. In addition, this proposed rule meets President Biden’s call in his first days in office to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act, outlined in Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies.


This proposed rule implements 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. While building avenues for greater accountability, this 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.


“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,” said Marcia L. Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. “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. “Today, HUD is taking new, bold action to eliminate the historic patterns of segregation that continue to harm American families. 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, a significant step in addressing the country’s history of discriminatory housing policies and practices, responds to both President Biden’s directive, the Memorandum on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies, to HUD and Secretary Fudge’s call to weave equity throughout HUD’s work. Specifically, it would spur HUD program participants to take action in order to ensure members of protected classes have equitable access to affordable housing opportunities, which can be a crucial lifeline for underserved communities that have long been denied equal access to opportunity. The proposed rule 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 robust 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 regulations.gov, or through the methods described in the proposed rule.

Read HUD’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. For further information, please reference this fact sheet, quick reference guide, and public comment how to guide.


To learn more, please read the entire press release. Visit HUD’s Press Room for the latest HUD news and information.

Register Today for HUD's Free Housing Counselors Combating Appraisal Bias Training Series: Identify, Empower, and Collaborate

HUD’s OHC and the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) are working together to combat appraisal bias. The work of the Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) task force includes developing strategies and action plan steps that housing counselors can adopt to best serve their clients. In the year since the launch of PAVE, the work of the task force is in full swing, including the joint collaboration of FHEO and OHC. Housing counseling agencies (HCAs) play a significant role in combating appraisal bias as they work with clients every day who rely upon accurate appraisals for pre-purchase, refinancing, and reverse mortgages.

HUD certified housing counselors and others are invited to attend three free training sessions in this robust, learner-centric webinar series. The first session will feature an engaging roundtable discussion where consumers and HCAs will share their experiences from two different markets in the country. The second and third sessions will unpack the work of the PAVE Task Force, the PAVE Action Plan, and highlight tools, strategies, and next steps for HCAs. Register today to save your place.

Please email questions to the Registrar at: trainings@hudexchange.info

 

Register Today for HUD's Free Housing Services for Persons Impacted by Domestic Violence Webinar Training Series

For individuals and families impacted by domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, housing and financial security play a key role in securing safety and stability. This series will help HUD certified housing counselors and others augment the crucial housing services they already provide, to support survivors seeking housing-related assistance. Register today to reserve your place.

Please email questions to the Registrar at: trainings@hudexchange.info

 

Register Today for HUD's Free Housing Counseling Energy Efficiency Essentials Training Series

In partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling is sponsoring the free Housing Counseling Energy Efficiency Essentials Training Series.

HUD certified housing counselors and others will learn how to advise renters and homeowners about energy improvements that can reduce energy costs over time. Including home energy assessments, resources for consumers, financial incentives, loan products and local utility benefit programs. Register today to reserve your place.

Please email questions to the Registrar at: trainings@hudexchange.info

 

Register Today for HUD's Free Housing Counseling Basics Webinar Training Series

This free HUD Housing Counseling Basics Webinar Series will provide training for newer staff of Housing Counseling Agencies (HCAs). These courses will focus on day-to-day counseling tasks, grant administration, and HUD's current policies and procedures. The series will highlight best practices for HUD housing counseling program compliance, as well as information about common missteps. Learn about existing tools and resources that may be helpful to new housing counselors, as well as more experienced HUD certified housing counselors looking for refresher courses. Register today to reserve your place for these free training courses.


Courses include:

  • February 01, 2023: Recordkeeping and File Maintenance: Learn about the basics of client files, activity logs, follow-up actions, and documentation of day-to-day counseling. This training will assist HCAs and counselors in providing effective counseling and maintaining compliance with Housing Counseling Program requirements. This session will not cover file maintenance related to group education or HECM client files.

  • February 15, 2023: Tips and Tricks for Using Your CMS and HCS: This webinar will discuss system maintenance, Client Management system (CMS) data input, Housing Counseling System (HCS) profile updates, and form HUD-9902 reporting requirements. Participants will learn about tools and resources to assist with accurate data reporting and uploads

Please email questions to the Registrar at: trainings@hudexchange.info



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