In January 2023, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proposed rule. According to HUD, the proposed rule is aimed to "faithfully implement the Fair Housing Act’s statutory mandate to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH), which directs HUD to ensure that the agency and its program participants proactively take meaningful actions to overcome patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, eliminate disparities in opportunities, and foster inclusive communities free from discrimination."
The lack of fully implementing and enforcing the rule since its initial inception has left generations of communities and renters of color, particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, or Latinx, vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation, and displacement. President Obama advanced an AFFH rule in 2015, only for it to be eliminated by the following administration. The Fair Housing Act mandate requires all recipients of federal housing or development funding to use those funds in a manner that affirmatively furthers fair housing opportunities by:
- Undertaking a robust community engagement process to surface the fair housing issues facing their communities, as well as to inform the goals and strategies that will remedy those issues;
- Outlining community goals and strategies in an Equity Plan submitted every 5 years and integrated into other local planning (Consolidated Plans, Annual Action Plans, and Public Housing Agency Plans); and
- Conducting and submitting annual progress evaluations.
Under the rule, members of the public could file complaints with HUD if program participants are not living up to their AFFH commitments and other accountability provisions.
How Philanthropy Can Take Action
On February 9, 2023, HUD published the proposed rule into the Federal Register and public comments are now accepted until April 24, 2023. Read the press announcement here.
Funders Together is working closely with partners to provide support on the public comment submission process to ensure the rule receives enough support to be fully implemented. Philanthropy can take action and join in with other community partners to support this proposed rule by:
submitting a public comment. Funders can prepare and submit unique public comments in support of the proposed rule, as well as make recommendations on how to make it stronger. Funders Together is available to help you strategize and craft comments. You can access talking points for your public comments here.
supporting grantee partners in submitting public comments. Valuable resources for your grantees might include funding for policy analysis, writing, and convening as well as thought partnership and facilitation.
participating in upcoming programming around the proposed rule to understand how communities can be better positioned to ensure accountability and progress when it comes to implementing AFFH later this year.
- starting discussions with community partners and advocates about displacement, segregation, and discrimination to inform our collective federal advocacy and to pave the way for action and accountability when it comes to local implementation of AFFH.
Remember: Submitting comments to proposed regulatory changes is NOT considered lobbying. Private foundations can provide comments in response to this proposed rule, and public charities, like community foundations, can do so without tracking and reporting it as lobbying on their 990s.
Funder Call Recording: AFFH Proposed Rule and Immediate Actions for Philanthropy
- AFFH Public Comment Talking Points for Philanthropy
Funders Together: Policy Update on Federal Efforts on Housing Equity
Alliance for Housing Justice: Understanding AFFH
Dept of Housing and Urban Development: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Commenting on HUD Rules
PolicyLink: AFFH Public Comment Guide
- Shelterforce: What Is Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing?