Politics HUD moves to restore fair housing rules weakened under Trump
We need to lay the foundation for meaningful housing policy change
As Congress looks to work with the new administration to “build back better”, we need to put housing front and center and enact the types of policies that can truly transform our nation’s housing.With the start of this new administration, we see great promise in making progress towards rethinking our nation's housing policies. We applaud President Biden's commitment to making housing and community development a key focus of his Build Back Better agenda.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is moving to reinstate two Obama-era fair housing rules weakened by the Trump administration, according toon Tuesday.
The agency will restore the original versions of a 2015 rule requiring cities to address residential segregation in order to access federal funds and a 2013 rule cracking down on unintended discrimination.
Former HUD Secretary Ben Carson revoked the 2015 rule last summer. Separately, he attempted to replace the 2013 “disparate impact” rule with a weaker version — part of ato roll back anti-discrimination rules and the enforcement of fair-lending laws.
Ex-Trump official penalized for violating Hatch Act
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) on Tuesday announced a settlement with former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official Lynne Patton, a political appointee and ally of former President Trump's, for a Hatch Act violation over a video she produced for last year's Republican National Convention.As part of the settlement, Patton admitted that she violated the Hatch Act with the video in which the then-HUD Region II administrator interviewed residents of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) about their living conditions while apparently not letting the participants know that the video would be used for political purposes.
The resurrected rules — currently under regulatory review by the OMB — mark one of the biggest steps HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge has taken since her swearing-in last month. President Joe Biden signed andirecting HUD to redress racially discriminatory housing policies as one of four executive actions the White House said would “advance racial equity.”
The 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule would have required local governments to track patterns of segregation and poverty with a checklist of 92 questions to receive federal housing grants. The Trump administration suspended its implementation in 2018. Officials then proposed a watered-down revision before scrapping it altogether last summer as former President Donald Trump campaigned on the warning that Democrats were trying to ruin the suburbs by shoving low-income housing down their throats.
Former Trump HUD official barred from government job for 4 years over Hatch Act violation
The Office of Special Counsel said former HUD official Lynne Patton had misused her position to help the Trump campaign. © Provided by CNBC Lynne Patton, event planner and Head of Region II for HUD, looks on as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), take questions after signing a ceremonial agreement between the federal government and the City of New York intended to correct mismanagement of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), during a press conference at the Jacob Javits Federal Building, January 31, 2019 in New York City.
Lost in the uproar over the Trump administration’s race-baiting approach, though, were complaints about the rule’s complexity and the cost of implementing it, including from. The notice posted Tuesday did not include details on any changes to the rule or its implementation.
In a sign that the battle lines haven’t changed much on the rule, Senate Banking Committee ranking member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) called the original rule “overly prescriptive" during a hearing on racial discrimination in housing Tuesday morning.
Carson’s HUD also introduced a regulation revamping the agency’s 2013 discriminatory effects rule by requiring plaintiffs to meet a higher threshold to prove unintentional discrimination, known as disparate impact. A federal judge in October issued a preliminary injunction to stop the agency from implementing the new rule just before it was finalized.
Biden's infrastructure plan calls for cities to limit single-family zoning and instead build affordable housing .
Biden's infrastructure bill aims to curb exclusionary zoning, which has led to racial segregation and climate vulnerability for low-income Americans.Current zoning laws that favor single-family homes — known as exclusionary zoning — have disproportionately hurt low-income Americans. Many of them can't afford to buy a big lot of land, leaving them trapped in crowded neighborhoods earmarked in the past for Black and brown residents while white families were able to move to single-family areas in the suburbs.