We advocate to protect the Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to turn away renters because of their race, color, religion, national origin, disability or gender orientation.

In addition to our policy work, our advisory team supports local and state governments in developing their fair housing plans. We provided input to HUD on the AFFH Assessment Tool that grantees will use to complete a fair housing plan and we’re working with our partners at ICF and Abt Associates to assist HUD in developing a strategy for implementation of the proposed AFFH rule.

Should HUD finalize the rule, Enterprise and our partners will provide training, and support HUD grantees in developing fair housing plans for communities across the country.

Issue Background

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 is the last chapter in the landmark Civil Rights legislation that includes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Fair Housing Act outlaws the refusal to sell or rent to a person or family because of their race, color, religion, and national origin (later amendments included protections for those with disabilities or gender orientation).

The Fair Housing Act also went one step further with the intention of dismantling the causes for segregation by requiring a standard of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). The Act states that “[a]ll executive departments and agencies shall administer their program and activities relating housing and urban development (including any federal agency having regulatory or supervisory authority over financial initiations) in a manner affirmatively to further the purposes of this subchapter.”

While disparate impact is not mentioned in the Fair Housing Act per se, it has been used to argue discrimination in fair housing laws or practices that are not direct forms of discrimination but may have the same effect by unintentionally impacting minorities and other protected classes. Disparate impact was first used successfully to argue discrimination cases in employment law.

AFFH Technical Assistance

In addition, Advisory Services was assigned $1.75 million in AFFH technical assistance funds to provide technical assistance to local and state governments in developing their fair housing plans. Since the publication of the proposed rule, Enterprise has provided input to HUD on the AFFH Assessment Tool that grantees will use to complete a fair housing plan and are working with ICF, and Abt Associates to assist HUD in developing a technical assistance strategy for implementation of the proposed AFFH rule. Should HUD finalize the proposed rule, Enterprise and its partners will be engaged to provide training and TA on helping HUD grantees develop fair housing plans across the nation.

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