HUD Wants Grantees to Self-Incriminate with their Assessment of Fair Housing, AFH, Submission
Introduction by Smith Young”:)”
This particular post is for those of you with a long attention span seeking to understand the details of AFFH. This also demonstrates what makes composing an AFFH elevator speech so difficult (and this is only the FAQ’s!)
HUD’s recent post is repeated below, following this introduction. Someone (that would be me) opposing AFFH needs to take a deep dive and read HUD’s gobbledygook about their new “Expanded” AFFH FAQ’s. So, taking a deep breath, holding it (and my nose) I’ve carefully read through the 10 pages and come away with no new information as HUD is simply broadcasting instructions to solidify their 5 year socialist plan process.
Reading between the lines it’s clear that HUD, as much as possible, wants grantees (a.k.a. Program Participants) to self-incriminate themselves in submitting their Assessment of Fair Housing, AFH, form by providing supplemental data consisting of, for example, “local knowledge include laws and policies, common neighborhood names and borders, and information about the housing market and housing stock”. Grantees should keep in mind that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Another sly use of government-speak is HUD’s use of the word “encourage”, as to join with neighboring jurisdictions or “regional partners” to conduct a regional analysis and report issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries, effectively getting communities (communist comrades) to rat on each other.
Lastly, the 10 page FAQ closes by going to great lengths to provide a disclaimer to the courts mandate that the “duty of AFFH does not dictate or preclude particular investments or strategies as a matter of law.” Ha, saying so doesn’t make it so, and HUD tries to safely position itself by providing an overload of rationalized thought, too much to repeat here. The FAQ does, however, introduce and state the AFFH rule recognizes the role of “place-based” and “mobility” strategies, neither of which can be found in the 377 page rule, so much for honesty and good faith in government. The second from last paragraph provides more deterrence with the following long run on single sentence challenging any legal authority to use against HUD’s AFFH rule, so try reading it just for fun:
A balanced approach would include, as appropriate, the removal of barriers that prevent people from accessing housing in areas of opportunity, the development of affordable housing in such areas, effective housing mobility programs and/or concerted housing preservation and community revitalization efforts, where any such actions are designed to achieve fair housing outcomes such as reducing disproportionate housing needs, transforming RCAPs/ECAPs by addressing the combined effects of segregation coupled with poverty, increasing integration, and increasing access to opportunity, such as high performing schools, transportation, and jobs.
Enjoy the following article.
From: HUD’s Resource Library
JANUARY 19, 2016, by HUD
In addition to numerous other materials on the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule that HUD released on December 31 (see Memo, 1/8), a greatly expanded set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) was posted on HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) website on the same day. A fifth AFFH training webcast, “The Fair Housing Planning Process Under the AFFH Rule,” was made available on January 11.
HUD has modified the shorter AHHF FAQs posted in July, substantially rewriting one and adding seven new ones. The new FAQs are:
- How does the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) compare to the Analysis of Impediments (AI)? The first FAQ reminds readers that AFFH is a legal requirement that has existed since the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The final AFFH rule provides a planning approach to help program participants (cities and counties required to submit a Consolidated Plan [ConPlan], states, and public housing agencies) to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities.
- What is the AFH Assessment Tool, who is required to use it, and where can I find it? The second FAQ explains that the AFH is a standardized form intended to help program participants analyze fair housing issues and set priorities and goals to establish strategies and actions in their ConPlans and Public Housing Agency Plans. It describes the six key requirements of the AFH process.
- What is the AFFH Rule Guidebook?
- What is the User Interface and how do I access it?
- What is the AFFH Data and Mapping Tool and what is it for?
- When is local data and local knowledge required as part of the AFH? This FAQ gives examples of local knowledge that program participants may consider when preparing an AFH. This FAQ stresses that local knowledge includes information obtained through the required community participation process.
- Where can I find additional information?
The final FAQ in the December 31 iteration rewrites and augments the previous guidance regarding community revitalization. HUD stresses that “the duty to affirmatively further fair housing does not dictate or preclude particular investments or strategies as a matter of law” and that program participants have latitude in prioritizing fair housing goals and strategies. The FAQ states: “HUD’s rule recognizes the role of place-based strategies, including economic development to improve conditions in high poverty neighborhoods, as well as preservation of the existing affordable housing stock, including HUD-assisted housing, to help respond to the overwhelming need for affordable housing. Examples of such strategies include investments that will improve conditions and thereby reduce disparities in access to opportunity between impacted neighborhoods and the rest of the city or efforts to maintain and preserve the existing affordable rental housing stock, including HUD-assisted housing, to address a jurisdiction’s fair housing issues.”
The FAQ goes on, however, to warn that there could be issues with strategies that rely solely on investment in areas with high racial or ethnic concentrations of low-income residents to the exclusion of providing access to affordable housing outside of those areas. For example, in areas with a history of segregation, if a program participant has the ability to create opportunities outside of the segregated, low-income areas but declines to do so in favor of place-based strategies, there could be a legitimate claim that HUD and its program participants are acting to preclude a choice of neighborhoods to historically segregated groups and failing to affirmatively further fair housing as required by the Fair Housing Act.
HUD concludes that place-based and mobility strategies need not be mutually exclusive and that a balanced approach is welcome.
On January 11, HUD released the fifth in a series of webcasts on the new AFFH rule. This latest webcast, “The Fair Housing Planning Process Under the AFFH Rule,” discusses the relationship between the assessment of fair housing issues, the identification of factors that contribute to those issues, and the establishment of fair housing goals. It also provides examples that link fair housing issues to contributing factors and goals.