SACRAMENTO – In a letter issued to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced his opposition to HUD's suspension of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. The AFFH rule was promulgated by HUD in 2015. It requires jurisdictions to use national and local data and gather community input to assess how their development goals would promote balanced and integrated living patterns. The rule is meant to provide jurisdictions with the tools they need to examine whether their housing policies reduce concentrations of poverty and disparities in access to housing and economic opportunities.
“Zip code should never determine destiny,” said Attorney General Becerra. “It’s more than troubling that the Trump Administration has directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reverse course and reject the AFFH rule. The AFFH rule represents a groundbreaking and long-overdue effort to ensure federal housing dollars reduce historic patterns of segregation and poverty that have harmed generations of people in marginalized communities.”
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing-related activities and transactions. It further obligates HUD to administer its programs and activities in a manner that overcomes historic patterns of segregation and lack of access to true opportunity in housing.
On January 5, HUD announced that it was suspending the AFFH rule, effective immediately, delaying compliance with the rule until 2024 for the majority of jurisdictions across the country. In the announcement, HUD claimed, without providing the opportunity for public comment, that the AFFH rule needs to be suspended because jurisdictions required additional time and technical assistance to meet the requirements of the rule. In the letter to HUD, Attorney General Becerra emphasizes 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.
A copy of the comment letter is attached to the press release at www.oag.ca.gov.