What is Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing?
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) is a federal regulation put into effect in July 2015 by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that requires any jurisdiction that receives federal money to analyze its housing occupancy in order to identify and assess fair housing issues.
The primary focus of AFFH is to address patterns of segregation, many of which have existed for decades. The Fair Housing Act (1968) prohibits housing discrimination, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 abolished legally enforced public segregation. However, simply banning such activities does not overcome segregation. AFFH seeks to enforce federal housing laws in order to combat segregation in an effort to further promote fair housing and economic opportunity.
HUD defines affirmatively furthering fair housing as “taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics. Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws. The duty to affirmatively further fair housing extends to all of a program participant’s activities and programs relating to housing and urban development.” – AFFH Final Rule
1 Jurisdictions required to analyze housing occupancy are those which receive federal money from the following programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Home Investment Partnership (HOME), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).