On March 16, NACo submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed rule to revise the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. If enacted, the rule would change the goals for AFFH and enact new measures to evaluate HUD grantees’ AFFH activities, placing new emphasis on removing existing regulations around housing production.
As drafted, the proposed rule would update grantee evaluation metrics to determine whether a grantee’s jurisdiction is 1) is free of adjudicated fair housing claims; 2) has an adequate supply of affordable housing throughout the jurisdiction; and (3) has an adequate supply of quality affordable housing. In addition to these datapoints, HUD also proposes that jurisdictions who score highly using these new metrics (or make improvements over a five-year plan cycle) become eligible for incentives within HUD programs. For the lowest-performing jurisdictions, HUD would direct remedial resources to and potential regulatory enforcement actions on those jurisdictions.
As HUD considers next steps on implementation of the proposed rule, NACo’s comments emphasized the need for clear guidelines around requirements for AFFH grantees; fair and equitable oversight by AFFH grantees’ plans and activities; and the importance of promoting the goals of the Fair Housing Act for AFFH grantees. With respect to the proposed ranking requirements and oversight requirements, NACo comments urged the agency to release a new proposed rule for public comment prior to enacting those measures.
HUD’s next steps on the AFFH proposal has the potential to impact counties, which administer major federal housing programs including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships and the Homelessness Assistance Program, and play a central role in ensuring access to fair housing at the local level.
For additional information on the proposed rule, please see the following links:
- NACo comments on HUD proposed rule (NACo comment submission)
- Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proposed rule (Full text of the proposal)