Waters Introduces Bill to Restore Fair Housing Protections Eliminated by Secretary Carson
HUD Secretary Ben Carson is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Financial Services on Wednesday morning
Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, introduced H.R. 6220, the Restoring Fair Housing Protections Eliminated by HUD Act of 2018, a bill to restore several fair housing protections that Ben Carson, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has eliminated.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is supposed to create strong communities; expand access to affordable housing; and enforce fair housing rights. Unfortunately, since becoming Secretary, Ben Carson has taken numerous steps to eliminate fair housing protections for the most vulnerable families in this country. From proposing to eliminate fair housing from HUD’s mission statement to eliminating protections for LGBTQ individuals, under Secretary Carson, HUD has stepped back from an important part of its mission.
Ranking Member Waters has introduced H.R. 6220 a day before Secretary Carson is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Financial Services at a hearing entitled “Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” where Committee Democrats will be sure to press the Secretary on the numerous comments and actions he has taken to hinder access to fair housing in this country.
March 10, 2017: HUD withdrew a Federal Register notice regarding a proposal to require owners and operators of HUD-funded homeless shelters to post a notice informing individuals of their rights under HUD's “Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs” rule.
January 5, 2018: HUD published a Federal Register notice that halted implementation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which carries out a key mandate under the Fair Housing Act.
March 6, 2018: Media outlets reported that a leaked HUD internal memo indicated that the Department’s mission statement would be changed to remove language referring to “inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.”
March 28, 2018: Media outlets reported that HUD is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws by freezing enforcement actions against local governments and businesses, including Facebook.
May 23, 2018: HUD issued a notice stating that it is withdrawing the “Local Government Assessment Tool” which assists local governments in meeting their obligations under the Fair Housing Act’s mandate to affirmatively further fair housing. This delays the obligation of local governments to comply with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule until at least nine months after a new assessment tool is published.
H.R. 6220 is supported by the National Fair Housing Alliance, PolicyLink, Poverty & Race Research Action Council, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Housing Law Project, Center for Responsible Lending, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Housing Trust, and CarsonWatch.