Following the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s release of a new proposed rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement:
“After years of targeted efforts to sabotage our nation’s Fair Housing Act, wage war on the civil rights of our communities, and stoke racial fear across the country, I applaud the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Secretary Marcia Fudge and the Biden Administration for the release of the long-awaited proposed rule to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). Under the AFFH mandate of the Fair Housing Act, federal agencies are required to take proactive steps to eliminate unequal living patterns across the country and help remedy decades of both government-sponsored and private residential segregation and inequality. With this proposed rule, I am confident that we as a nation will finally be able to carry out this mandate effectively and successfully, while creating solutions to housing issues that affect people of color, families with children, people with disabilities, immigrants, and other groups of protected classes.
“I am especially pleased to see that this latest proposal will make a number of key improvements to the 2015 rule. This includes a requirement to ensure all HUD grantees, including States and public housing agencies, can immediately begin engaging in more transparent and streamlined fair housing planning that is informed by both federal and local data; stronger community engagement requirements; annual reporting guidelines to help communities assess their efforts to advance fair housing goals; and a complaint and compliance process to ensure grantees are abiding by their AFFH obligations. Ultimately, this proposed rule will go a long way in redressing the harm caused by the previous administration and bring us steps closer to ensuring that every family has access to fair and affordable housing in the communities of their choice.
“This proposal comes days after our nation celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose fight for fair housing and civil rights inspired the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, just days after his assassination. I look forward to continuing the work with the Biden Administration to make our nation’s promise of fair housing and economic justice a reality for all.”
In January 2021, then-Chairwoman Waters issued a statement applauding the Biden Administration for its Executive Action on fair housing.
In July 2020, then-Chairwoman Waters issued a statement with then-Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and former Congressman Lacy W. Clay, then-Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance, opposing the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate the AFFH rule.
In March 2020, then-Chairwoman Waters led a letter to Benjamin Carson, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), urging him to withdraw the agency’s harmful 2020 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proposal.
In January 2020, then-Chairwoman Waters issued a statement regarding the Trump Administration’s proposal to replace the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule issued under President Obama with a much weaker rule.
In April 2019, then-Chairwoman Waters convened a hearing entitled, “The Fair Housing Act: Reviewing Efforts to Eliminate Discrimination and Promote Opportunity in Housing.”
In 2018, then-Ranking Member Waters introduced H.R. 6220, the "Restoring Fair Housing Protections Eliminated by HUD Act of 2018," a bill to restore several fair housing protections that Secretary Carson eliminated, including by requiring the HUD Secretary to implement the 2015 AFFH rule as soon as practicable after the date of enactment.