HUD Suspends Fair Housing Rule, Requests Comments

Local Assessments of Fair Housing will not be required until 2020 at the earliest, HUD announced on January 5, 2018. The delay relates to part of a 2015 HUD regulation, which changed the requirement for plans developed by local governments and public housing authorities that receive funding under some of HUD’s programs, including the CDBG and HOME programs, important resources for affordable rural housing. Each funded entity would develop an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH), a more data-driven and standardized replacement for the previous Analysis of Impediments (AI). The AFH requirement was to be phased in over time, with small entities having the most time to comply.

The new announcement says that 35 percent of the first 49 AFH plans HUD evaluated did not meet the requirements. It explains that program participants need additional technical assistance in developing their AFHs. It delays the phase-in period, so plans will not be due until after October 31,2020.

HUD’s notice reminds funding recipients that in the meantime, they are still required by law to affirmatively further fair housing. They will be required to continue developing and updating the older Analyses of Impediments until the AFH requirement takes effect.

While the notice is effective immediately, HUD invites public comment by March 6, 2018.