Reasons Why National Association of Realtors Opposes AFFH
Edited by Smith Young “:)” We agree with the National Association of Realtors. Referencing the final AFFH rule, Chris Polychron, 2015 President, National Association of REALTORS® submits comments to HUD’s Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, click National Association of Realtors Opposition to AFFH. After declaring the obligatory politically correct language beginning with “we believe” the letter carefully dissects the 377 pages of AFFH rule finding much that is contrary to explicit statements by HUD (HUD lies) making the following notable observations.
We find it helpful that HUD identifies the types of factors it would like analyzed in the assessment. [but] We take exception to both the titling of that list and the descriptions of many factors which are characterized in a way that assumes there is always a fair housing impact.
We believe the lists, naming and descriptions of these factors should be rewritten to remove any potential bias that prejudges the impact of a factor on fair housing issues.
1. HUD should not be listing factors as contributing factors, but instead requiring jurisdictions to evaluate whether factors do so contribute. It is helpful that HUD has identified a number of factors it wishes to be examined, but the listing of those factors, and the instructions in the form should in no way presuppose that the factor is a contributing factor. Such a presupposition will impact the accuracy and effectiveness of the form in two ways:
a. By presenting a set of factors as contributing factors, it biases the responses to assume that those factors always have a fair housing impact.
b. By presenting a list, it can limit the analysis to those factors listed and not looking at underlying issues that may impact fair housing. For example, identifying that discrimination against the use of housing vouchers is a fair housing issue may allow a community to ignore examining the procedures used to reimburse landlords for the use of the vouchers and determining if those procedures are themselves a contributing factor.
2. The naming of each “contributing factor” is confusing. Some factors are listed with a value, such as “Lack of Community Revitalization Strategies.” Others are simply statements of issues or factors without a value attached, such as “Land Use and Zoning Laws”.
3. The descriptions of the “Contributing Factors” should be titled differently and should remove statements that indicate the factor is assumed to contribute to fair housing issues.
4. A number of the descriptions of “contributing factors” also include recommendations for remedies, including several recommendations for local and state legislation. This runs contrary to HUD’s explicit statement in the Executive Summary outlining the purpose of the Final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule:
“While the statutory duty to affirmatively further fair housing requires program participants to affirmatively further fair housing, this final rule does not mandate specific outcomes for the planning process (emphasis added). Instead, recognizing the importance of local decision making (emphasis added), the new approach establishes basic parameters to help guide public sector housing and community development planning and investment decisions in being better informed about fair housing concerns and consequently help program participants to be better positioned to fulfill their obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.”
[In Summary] We believe there is no place in the Fair Housing Assessment form or its appendices where it is appropriate for HUD to mandate or suggest specific legislation or specific remedies to address fair housing issues, and that the descriptions of factors should not include either direct or indirect suggestions for actions to address factors, and in particular should not include recommendations for legislation.