Obama Administration Advances Access to Opportunity through New Fair Housing Rule

08 Jul 2015 | PolicyLink
Obama Administration Advances Access to Opportunity through New Fair Housing Rule

Today, the nation took a tremendous step forward in ensuring that everyone, no matter their zip code or racial heritage, can access opportunity. Earlier this morning, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule — a long-awaited clarification of fair housing legislation law that will support local leaders in correcting longstanding patterns of discrimination and in investing in strategies that will build opportunity for all residents.
 
Where you live determines what jobs you can take, where you can send your children to school, and whether you can access vital community resources like health care and healthy food. This is why the AFFH rule is so important — housing policy is not just about housing. It's about connecting children to quality education, bolstering local economies, and enabling healthy communities. The release of this rule equips local leaders and advocates with the resources and guidance necessary to build stronger, more vibrant communities, where all residents can reach their full potential.
 
Under AFFH, local communities that receive HUD grants will examine, publicly report, and develop strategies to address discrimination in housing. HUD will provide local communities with extensive geographic data, such as racial demographics, poverty levels, access to transit, and school quality. In addition, HUD will provide communities with guidance and technical assistance to support the local planning of fair housing opportunity-focused investments.
 
This information and guidance allows communities to better track where poverty and segregation overlap, which neighborhoods have limited job opportunities, and where affordable housing is located relative to reliable transportation. Armed with this knowledge, local leaders can then develop and implement tailored planning solutions that comprehensively address the needs of their residents.
 
PolicyLink helped pilot the rule in 74 regions over the last three years. “We saw local leaders appreciate their ability to make decisions informed by data, community knowledge, and drawing from best practices,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink. “They were hungry to address the longstanding challenges that reinforce poverty and limit opportunity.”
 
Today, we are one step closer to creating a more fair and just America.