On Friday, January 5, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Notice in the Federal Register delaying implementation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing requirement for local governments to complete an Assessment of Fair Housing until after October 31, 2020. HUD established the Assessment for Fair Housing as a new requirement for all grantees that receive formula funding from the Community Development Block Grant, the Home Investment Partnerships (HOME), and the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) programs. Thus farTo date, about a dozen counties have completed the new AFH process.
In July 2015 under the Obama Administration, HUD published a final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) which established a new Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) approach for HUD grantees, including local governments. The new AFH sets new criteria forin evaluating fair housing barriers and developing fair housing goals., using new criteria and the assessment tool developed by HUD.
In July 2014, NACo submitted comments to HUD expressing concerns about the financial and administrative burden that the new AFH process would impose on counties, without additional funding from HUD to carry out the comprehensive assessment and meet new requirements. NACo indicated that the AFH was an unfunded mandate and recommended HUD not require its usage by grantees, including local governments. In addition, NACo met with HUD and U.S. congressional staff seeking funds to assist local governments with implementing the AFH process. NACo is pleased that HUD is allowing grantees, including local governments more time to comply with the AFH process.
In the January Notice, HUD states it believes program participants/grantees need additional time and technical assistance to adjust to the new AFFH process and complete AFH submissions that can be accepted by HUD. HUD will be suspending the AFH review process. HUD grantees that have already submitted an AFH, which has been accepted by HUD must continue to execute the goals of that accepted AFH. However, those grantees currently completing the AFH process have the option to continue , or revert to the Analysis of Impediments process that was in place prior to the AFH process.
HUD is accepting comments on the AFH Notice until March 6, 2018. NACo will be submitting comments and welcome any feedback your county may have about the AFH process. Please send feedback or comments to NACo staff Daria Daniel, at email@example.com