Trump Administration Killed A Housing Discrimination Rule. Some Cities Are Following It Anyway., Eleanor Goldberg, HuffPost, June 1, 2018, available here
Civil rights groups announced this week that they are taking the next steps in a lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development that claims it unlawfully suspended an Obama-era rule intended to promote racial integration and combat discriminatory housing practices.
HUD effectively suspended the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, a 2015 regulation that required any community receiving HUD development block-grant funding to routinely identify instances of racial segregation and provide solutions to counter them. Those local governments were required to submit a summary of their findings and goals to HUD for approval.
In January, HUD extended the deadline for submitting those assessments, and on May 18 the department withdrew the assessment tool for complying with the rule without providing the required public notice or comment period. Claiming the tool was too complicated to use, HUD reinstated an older process, which housing advocates say gives jurisdictions a free pass to use billions in grant dollars without proper oversight.
Lisa Rice, the president and chief executive officer of the National Fair Housing Association, one of the groups involved in the suit, said the lack of public notice or comment opportunities was what prompted the suit. Housing advocates say communities just needed time to adapt to the new requirements, which created a promising mechanism to fight housing discrimination.