Center for Disability Rights joins Leading Civil Rights and Housing Groups in press release to condemn the retraction of the AFFH Rule
Center for Disability Rights has been on the forefront in the fight for people with disabilities to live independent lives. One important need for living independently is safe, accessible and affordable housing. Last week the Trump Administration’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) retracted the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, a provision of the 1968 Fair Housing Act (FHA). The FHA is a law that was created to decimate decades of discrimination in housing.
On July 23, 2020 – Leading Civil Rights & Housing Groups Condemn President’s Effort to Gut Fair Housing, Use of Incendiary Racial Rhetoric for Political Gain
Fair housing advocates denounce Trump’s newest effort to eliminate a critical tool to desegregate communities and call on the president to instead concentrate on ensuring housing equity during a pandemic.
Washington, D.C. — Today, a coalition of civil rights, affordable housing and consumer advocacy organizations condemned the move by the Trump administration to eliminate a critical tool for addressing systemic racism and segregation in our communities. In its haste to undermine this central component of the Fair Housing Act, the administration has done an end run around the normal rulemaking process and adopted a new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule by executive fiat. This new rule is at complete odds with Congress’ intent in including this provision in the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as well as decades of case law interpreting this provision. That act requires federal agencies, especially HUD, to “affirmatively further fair housing.” Under the AFFH mandate, localities receiving federal assistance must take meaningful actions to undo decades of federal, state, and local discriminatory policies and practices that resulted in creating racially segregated, under-resourced communities that persist to this day. They must also address local policies that illegally discriminate against residents. Further, they must ensure that all neighborhoods have equitable access to high quality schools, healthy food, clean air and water, reliable transportation, quality healthcare facilities, and other community resources and amenities. Under the Trump administration, HUD suspended the AFFH regulations finalized in 2015 – effectively gutting the only meaningful guidance since the Fair Housing Act for how states and localities should correct discriminatory housing practices and undo the harms caused by racial segregation, housing discrimination and disinvestment. Today’s action by the president is the administration’s latest effort to thwart access to fair housing and to perpetuate segregation. The coalition calls on him to rescind this mandate and reinstate the 2015 AFFH regulation.
The 2015 AFFH regulation provided communities with a roadmap for identifying and addressing the housing and other needs of people with disabilities,” said Dara Baldwin, director of national policy at the Center for Disability Rights, Inc. “Now, without any opportunity for their voices to be heard, the President is taking away that tool. That experience tells us the result will be that people with disabilities will have less access to suitable, affordable housing in the neighborhoods of their choice that enables them to fully participate in their communities. This is a bad outcome for people with disabilities, and a bad outcome for the nation.”
This month we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) which is the civil rights law of this country for people with disabilities. The premise of the ADA is community integration and the AFFH rule was created by the 1968 Fair Housing Act. This law along with the ADA eliminate discrimination and creates the safe, accessible and affordable housing that people with disabilities need to live independent lives. CDR remains at the forefront of this fight to push back on this Administration’s retraction of this imperative rule. We will continue to work with the civil and housing rights community to ensure that housing discrimination ends in this country.
For more information on this work contact Dara Baldwin, Director of National Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org