By KIMBERLEY HAAS
A new proposed rule meeting President Joe Biden’s call to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act was announced by officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday.
“Affirmatively furthering fair housing means more than merely steering clear of housing discrimination violations,” Demetria McCain, principal deputy assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a statement. “Today, HUD is taking new, bold action to eliminate the historic patterns of segregation that continue to harm American families. This action will help make the purpose of the Fair Housing Act reality by making it easier for local communities to identify inequities and make concrete commitments to address them.”
According to a press release, the rule is designed to simplify the required fair housing analysis, emphasize goal-setting, increase transparency for public review and comment, foster local commitment to addressing fair housing issues, enhance HUD technical assistance to local communities, and provide mechanisms for regular program evaluation and greater accountability.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge said in a statement that this is a major step towards providing equitable access to opportunities for all.
In an opinion piece published by CNN, Fudge said the updated 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule was only barely in effect when the previous administration dismantled it in the summer of 2020.
Then HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the rule was complicated, costly, and ineffective. President Donald Trump defended the decision arguing the move would protect property values in the suburbs.
In Fudge’s opinion piece on Thursday, she said that discrimination has persisted during this time.
“Too often, people with disabilities are denied reasonable accommodation or forced to pay extra fees to rent housing. Hardworking families are blocked from purchasing homes because of the color of their skin,” Fudge wrote. “And after decades of unequal treatment – often facilitated by federal funds – too many lack true housing choice and the ability to access opportunities that would allow them to succeed and thrive.”
Fudge said the rule “will be vitally important to our work to address ongoing segregation, disinvestment from communities of color, and discrimination in housing markets.”
“At its core, it will allow our country to create more places of opportunity where all residents can thrive,” Fudge wrote.
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