SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined an amicus brief authored by the State of Maryland supporting a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to stop the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from suspending the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH rule). The AFFH rule, promulgated in 2015, requires jurisdictions to use national and local data and gather community input to assess how their development goals would promote balanced and integrated living patterns. The rule is meant to provide jurisdictions with the tools they need to examine whether their housing policies reduce concentrations of poverty and disparities in access to housing and economic opportunities.
“What part of town you live in should not mean that the doors of opportunity are closed to you,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Fair housing is critical to creating integrated and supportive communities that provide access to jobs and better economic environments—and getting there requires an accountable use of federal housing funds. It is irresponsible for HUD to suspend regulations that facilitate fair housing and create a mechanism for accountability. States and their local jurisdictions need tools under the AFFH rule to further fair housing.”
On January 5, 2018, HUD announced that it was suspending the AFFH rule, effective immediately, without providing a rational justification or opportunity for public comment. Today’s amicus brief supports litigation brought by the National Fair Housing Alliance, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, and Texas Appleseed opposing HUD’s move and seeking to enjoin suspension of the rule.
On March 7, 2018, Attorney General Becerra filed a letter with HUD opposing the suspension of the AFFH rule. The letter emphasized that HUD failed to provide a rational justification for the wholesale suspension of the rule and that the suspension of the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to using the tools of the California Department of Justice to further fair housing. In addition to the comment letter and today’s amicus brief, Attorney General Becerra has also spoken out against the Trump-Pence Administration’s move to neuter the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A copy of the brief is attached to the press release at www.oag.ca.gov.
Source: Office of the Attorney General of California