Rollback the rollback
On July 23, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under directives from President Trump announced the rollback of The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule which was in place to address discrimination and segregation in housing. Specifically, the AFFH rule required jurisdictions receiving federal housing funds to assess patterns of housing discrimination and to identify a plan to address discriminatory practices.
The AFFH rule was replaced by new guidance that reduced the responsibility on communities to prove that they are taking steps to address housing discrimination. Simply put, these changes have set the clock back on progress toward a better society. It's no secret that institutional racism in housing disproportionately impacts Black, Native American and Latinx household, making the rollback more impactful on low-income renters of color.
During this time, Americans are still trying to process George Floyd's tragic death and have observed firsthand the glaring inequities in underserved communities with the administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the National Association of Realtors maintained that "now is not the time" to change a policy that could hinder progress against institutional racism in housing.
As a lifelong Republican, former Illinois lieutenant governor and fair housing advocate, I disagreed with the rollback. In fact, many on both sides of the aisle did, because housing is a human right that should never be politicized. Let's do what's right and rollback the rollback.
Executive Director, HOPE Fair Housing Center