Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule Guidebook (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

In July 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development adopted a regulation, called the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (AFFH Rule), which effectively federalized local residential development, planning, and zoning laws. The AFFH Rule imposes new requirements on local governments to develop complex plans for achieving federal government goals for racial diversity in housing or lose federal housing funds. The AFFH Rule includes requirements for local governments to “solicit[ the] views and recommendations from members of the community and other interested parties,” 24 C.F.R. §5.152, and to submit planning documents called Assessments of Fair Housing (AFH), 24 C.F.R. §5.154(b).

While the Department submitted the AFFH Rule to Congress in compliance with the CRA, five months later it published an AFFH Rule Guidebook, which meets the definition of a rule under the CRA but was not submitted to Congress. The Guidebook imposes significant and onerous requirements for complying with the community consultation and AFH requirements of the Rule. If local governments do not comply with the extensive specific requirements of the Guidebook, then HUD will find them in violation of the Rule, and withdraw previously available funding. Since this rule was never submitted to Congress, it is not in effect, cannot lawfully be enforced, and remains vulnerable to congressional disapproval.

AFFH Rule at

AFFH Rule Guidebook at

National Review Online articles on the AFFH Rule by Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center: