HUD Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing updates 3.3.2016

03 Mar HUD Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing updates 3.3.2016

Below is the revised PowerPoint video that explains why HUD created the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation, and what it means for communities. I have clarified several explanations and attempted to make the material easeir to explain and share.

Question: “Since our community does not directly receive HUD grant money, are we still subject to meet the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing obligations?” 

Short version is, yes.

A subrecipient is any jurisdiction that receives grant money from a direct grantee.  If a county or state receives a HUD Community Development Block Grant and disburses part of the funds to a city or county, that jurisdiction is a subrecipient.

According to The Department of Housing and Urban Development Fact Sheet, in referencing HUD CDBG funds, “Recipients must ensure full compliance with these federal laws and must also ensure compliance by all sub-recipients to whom funds are distributed.”

The civil rights law firm of Allen Relman Dane and Colfax states it succinctly: “You (the grantee) can’t fund jurisdictions whose policies and practices are AFFH non-compliant.”

If your community received HUD funds from your state, it is their responsibility to assure that your jurisdiction meets its AFFH obligations. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “States must assure that units of local government receiving CDBG or HOME funds comply. States and local governments must certify that they are affirmatively furthering fair housing in their Consolidated Plans (ConPlans) and Public Housing Agency Plans (PHA Plans).”

Here is another critical point.  Your community’s AFFH obligation does not end with the HUD funds you receive.

As stated in HUD’s regulation (p14), AFFH governs…

  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Home Investment Partnerships (HOME)
  • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA)

However, this is only the beginning of the recipients’ obligations to AFFH. According to HUD’s Fair Housing Planning Guide, your planning goals “will be accomplished primarily by making investments with federal and other resources.”

  • For example, if your community accepted CDBG funds to improve water and sewer lines that effect protected classes, fair housing or urban development, your AFFH obligations extend beyond the grant money.

Again, Allen, Relman, Dane and Colfax clarifies…
“Although the grantee’s AFFH obligation arises in connection with the receipt of Federal funding, its AFFH obligation is not restricted to the design and operation of HUD-funded programs at the State or local level. The AFFH obligation extends to all housing and housing-related activities in the grantee’s jurisdictional area whether publicly or privately funded.”

Question: “Our local Public Housing Authority (PHA) received HUD grants and our town appointed the PHA’s board members. Is our community required to collaborate with the PHA and meet the AFFH obligations under their grant?”

Short answer, not exactly.

  • HUD agrees that collaboration between the local jurisdiction and the PHA would be helpful and “encourages the creation of MOU’s (memorandum of understanding) to govern the joint participation process when completing the Assessment of Fair Housing.”
  • However, in the Federal Register, (p 42322 Sec. 18) HUD “declines to require such entities to execute a letter or agreement affirming cooperation…”

Next issue: In one well-known county, the Community Development Coordinator said that in 27 years he had never known HUD to have “this level of concern.” In our next newsletter, Property Value Defense will explore exactly what HUD’s concern did to this community.

(PVD is here to help your community understand the severe consequences accompanying AFFH.  If you know of any community members, officials or municipal attorneys interested in joining our group, please feel free to forward this article.)

Thank you,

John Anthony, Founder
Property Value Defense

*Your donations are greatly appreciated to support our work of keeping communities informed.  Thank you.  JA

*Neither PVDN nor Sustainable Freedom Lab are attorneys. This email is not intended to provide legal advice. As always consult your legal advisors before entering into any agreement with the federal government or any other entities.
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