Date Published: September 2016
No. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule keeps decision-making in the hands of local communities and does not impose any particular strategy for overcoming impediments to fair housing choice. The AFFH rule does not mandate affordable housing development, set forth a program for relocation of persons into affluent communities, or include any racial quotas. To affirmatively further fair housing the strategies undertaken by a program participant should be meaningful and specific to the local and regional context and history of barriers to fair housing choice.
The fair housing planning processes set out in the AFFH rule requires program participants to assess their own fair housing needs and capacity, which will lead, in turn, to the program participant establishing their own fair housing goals, strategies, and actions. While HUD is not prescriptive in the actions that may affirmatively further fair housing and the AFFH rule recognizes that local governments, Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), States, and Insular Areas have the responsibility to identify the nature and extent of barriers to fair housing and set goals for what can and should be done to address them. Program participants are required to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities free from discrimination.
Based on the analysis and goals set in the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH), program participants must strategize and take meaningful action to affirmatively further fair housing. These meaningful actions—significant actions that are designed and can be reasonably expected to achieve a material positive change—begin with the fair housing goals set in the AFH. Program participants may develop a variety of fair housing strategies and actions based on their AFH. The AFFH rule and HUD’s guidance provide examples of fair housing strategies and actions such as developing affordable housing, and removing barriers to the development of such housing, in areas of high opportunity; strategically enhancing access to opportunity, including through targeted investment in neighborhood revitalization or stabilization or through preservation or rehabilitation of existing affordable housing; promoting greater housing choice within or outside of areas of concentrated poverty and greater access to areas of high opportunity; and improving community assets such as quality schools, employment, and transportation. See the regulation at 24 CFR §5.150.
HUD supports a balanced approach to affirmatively furthering fair housing. A balanced approach encourages a variety of activities that connect housing and community development policy and investment planning with meaningful actions that affirmatively further fair housing. To affirmatively further fair housing and achieve a balanced approach, the strategies undertaken should be meaningful and specific to the local and regional context and history of barriers to fair housing choice.