Trump threatens to overturn a fair housing regulation designed to help ‘overcome historic patterns of segregation’ saying it has a ‘devastating impact’ on the suburbs

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  • President Donald Trump said he “may end” an Obama-era fair housing regulation designed to eliminate housing segregation because Trump said it is “having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas.”
  • The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation, put in place in 2015 by the Obama administration, was designed to “foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.”
  • In January 2018, the Trump administration suspended the mandate in early 2018 until 2020, saying that it “wasn’t working well,” citing a statement from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • The move did not formally repeal the fair housing rule, and the argument reopened in early 2020 when HUD Secretary Ben Carson issued a proposal to revise and essentially eliminate the AFFH mandate in January of this year.
  • Fair housing advocates slammed the move, saying the revised regulation proposed by HUD “is not a rule to affirmatively further fair housing.”
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President Donald Trump threatened to overturn an Obama-era fair-housing regulation meant to eliminate discrimination, claiming that it “is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas.”

In a late-night tweet, Trump announced he was reviewing the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) mandate, a federal regulation put in place in 2015 by the Obama administration to strengthen the Fair Housing Act established 1968.

“At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas,” the president wrote in a tweet Tuesday night. “Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE. Not fair to homeowners, I may END!”

The AFFH regulation is designed to aid the effort to “overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination,” according to the Housing and Urban Development website.

In January 2018, the Trump administration suspended the federal regulation requiring communities to combat housing segregation until 2020, The New York Times reported.

“Early in this administration, HUD embarked upon a top-to-bottom review of the department’s rules and regulations,” the agency said in a statement at the time, according to The Times report.

“As part of this regulatory review, HUD asked the public to offer comment on those rules that might be excessively burdensome or unclear,” the agency said. “What we heard convinced us that the Assessment of Fair Housing tool for local governments wasn’t working well.”

The move did not formally repeal the fair housing rule, and the argument reopened in early 2020 when HUD Secretary Ben Carson issued a proposal to revise and essentially eliminate the AFFH mandate in January of this year.

“Mayors know their communities best, so we are empowering them to make housing decisions that meet their unique needs, not a mandate from the federal government,” Carson said in a statement at the time.

“Having said that, if a community fails to improve housing choice, HUD stands ready to enforce the Fair Housing Act and pursue action against any party that violates the law,” he added.

Fair housing advocates slammed the revised proposal to the AFFH regulation. Lisa Rice, president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance, told NBC News in a January interview “what HUD has released is not a rule to affirmatively further fair housing.”

“It significantly weakens fair housing compliance, entrenches segregated housing patterns, and continues the status quo in which some communities are strengthened by taxpayer-supported programs and amenities while other neighborhoods are starved and deprived of opportunities,” Rice said.

Trump’s attack on AFFH came amid housing uncertainty for renters amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Millions across the US have lost their job or been furloughed, leading to the subsequent struggle of being able to afford housing.

Some states have attempted to lessen the economic blow of the pandemic to Americans by proposing rent freezes and moratoriums on evictions.

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