Administration

Ben Carson takes steps to revamp Obama fair housing rule

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Monday announced plans to revamp an Obama-era fair housing rule.

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, put into effect in 2015 under then-President Obama, requires jurisdictions that receive funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assess fair housing and identify solutions to discriminatory barriers in housing markets.

In a statement, HUD said it is accepting public comments on proposed changes to the rule in an effort to minimize housing regulations, give more control to local governments and increase the housing supply.

The statement said that the AFFH rule has "proved ineffective, highly prescriptive, and effectively discouraged the production of affordable housing."

Carson said in the statement that the current rule "is actually suffocating investment in some of our most distressed neighborhoods that need our investment the most."

"We do not have to abandon communities in need. Instead we believe we can craft a new, fairer rule that creates choices for quality housing across all communities," Carson said. "Today we begin the formal process of examining how we can get this regulation right by first listening and learning from those who must put these rules to work and live with its impact."

Monday's announcement comes about three months after HUD withdrew the Local Government Assessment Tool, which helped local governments comply with the AFFH rule.

In January, HUD suspended the requirement for local governments file plans under the rule.

The agency will receive comments on the proposed changes for two months.

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