NCLEJ Submits Public Comment Opposing HUD’S Proposed “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” Rule
On January 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) published a proposed rule that would change the way the agency upholds its obligation to affirmatively further fair housing for all who need it.
The existing rule includes important concepts for the agency to consider while serving individuals with disabilities who are seeking housing assistance. These considerations require the agency to ensure that individuals with disabilities are housed in integrated settings–places that enable individuals with disabilities to interact with persons without disabilities to the fullest extent possible–and not segregated from their families and communities.
The proposed rule would eliminate these important concepts, representing a huge step back in efforts to affirmatively further fair housing for all. Furthermore, the proposed rule will not require HUD-funded agencies to take any action to protect persons with disabilities against housing discrimination.
People with disabilities and their families already face a national shortage of accessible and affordable housing, particularly the lowest-income people with disabilities. People with disabilities often have few financial resources and remain among the country’s poorest. Far too often, they encounter discrimination when seeking housing. Providing housing or services in integrated settings allows persons with disabilities to maintain their independence and overall well-being. Unnecessary institutionalization or homelessness can hurt a person’s health and earning potential.
Benefits like federal housing assistance helps to preserve housing stability, health, and well-being of ALL families. It remains extremely important to expand opportunities for people with disabilities to live in accessible and inclusive housing in the community, and to protect their rights under the Fair Housing Act. NCLEJ condemns the proposed rule—the Trump Administration’s latest attacks on our country’s most vulnerable individuals.