SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 16 attorneys general, today submitted a comment letter to the Trump Administration urging the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reverse its efforts to delay and dismantle critical fair housing regulations. The letter was submitted in response to HUD’s proposal to amend the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which provides jurisdictions with the data and tools they need to reduce racial disparities and concentrations of poverty in their housing and community development initiatives.
“What part of town you live in should not mean that the doors of opportunity are closed to you,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We are opposing HUD’s suspension of fair housing regulations because they are critical to creating integrated and supportive communities that provide access to economic and educational opportunities. It is incumbent on HUD to maintain a mechanism for accountability that ensures communities are taking meaningful actions to create fair housing choices when it comes to allocating federal housing funds.”
In the comment letter, the Attorneys General write, “Racial segregation of our communities is a troubling and visible reflection of the racial and economic inequality in our country. For too long, communities across the country have been made up of two separate and unequal societies divided along racial and ethnic lines.” The AFFH rule was a breakthrough policy that made significant strides in affirmatively furthering fair housing.
Attorney General Becerra is joined by the Attorneys General of Delaware, Hawai’i, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
On January 5, 2018, HUD announced that it was suspending the implementation of the AFFH rule, effective immediately, without providing a rational justification or opportunity for public comment. On March 7, 2018, Attorney General Becerra filed a letter with HUD opposing the suspension of the AFFH rule. The letter emphasized that HUD failed to provide a rational justification for the wholesale suspension of the rule and that the suspension of the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act. In June, the Attorney General joined an amicus brief authored by the State of Maryland supporting a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to stop HUD from suspending the rule.
A copy of the letter is attached to the electronic version of this press release here.