HUD kills key tool used to enforce Obama fair housing rule

HUD kills key tool used to enforce Obama fair housing rule, Ben Lane, Housing Wire, May 18, 2018, available here

The Trump administration just took another significant step toward derailing a controversial fair housing rule issued by the Obama administration in 2015.

Last year, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said that HUD will look to “reinterpret” the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which requires that cities and towns receiving federal funding to examine their local housing patterns for racial bias and to design a plan to address any measurable bias.

Then, in January, HUD announced that it was delaying the deadline for local governments to submit their fair housing evaluations by one year.

But delaying the fair housing evaluations, which were required as part of the AFFH rule, essentially “gutted” the AFFH rule, according to former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, who oversaw the rule’s announcement in 2015.

At the time, HUD said that the delay was due to technological issues with the Local Government Assessment Tool, a computer program that was to be used by local governments to submit their relevant housing data.

HUD said that it planned to use the delay to fix the tool, but now, just over five months after delaying the submission deadline, HUD is killing the Local Government Assessment Tool altogether.

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