HUD pulls tool used to identify segregation in communities

HUD pulls tool used to identify segregation in communities
© Greg Nash

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it’s pulling a tool designed for communities to identify instances of segregation.

The move, announced in a press release Friday, is the latest step by the department targeted at the Obama-era fair housing rules.

The press release states that local governments found that the “Local Government Assessment Tool was confusing, difficult to use, and frequently produced unacceptable assessments.”

HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Anna Maria Farías said in a statement that the department believes “in furthering fair housing choice in our neighborhoods, but we have to help, not hinder those who have to put our rules into practice.”

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“We must make certain that our tools can facilitate the goals we all share-to build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination,” she continued.

The department said in the release that it is “reaffirming its commitment to the Fair Housing Act.”

The decision comes after fair housing advocates sued HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon Carson'Housing First' approach won't solve homelessness crisis Clarence Thomas blasts his Biden-led confirmation hearings: 'The idea was to get rid of me' Affordable housing crisis demands urgent, sustained action MORE, accusing him of violating fair housing standards by suspending a 2015 rule that enforced the 1968 Fair Housing Act requirement for communities to desegregate or lose federal funding.

That rule had required communities to use the now defunct tool to find instances of segregation and create plans to address them, or risk losing funding from the department.

Carson had written in a 2015 op-ed that steps to desegregate communities were “failed socialist experiments,” claiming that the "government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse.”

He said in January the comments were taken out of context, but took steps to roll back the Obama-era regulation later that month.