Mayor Supports HUD’s Action to Tackle Housing Segregation
New rule will help Minneapolis identify and reduce barriers to fair housing, promote integration
July 8, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS)—Today Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges announced her strong support for the new rule proposed by the Obama Administration’s Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) to tackle segregation and promote integration in the housing market as was dictated, but until now poorly enforced, by the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
The Mayor has long fought to end inequities throughout the City—of which housing plays a large role—in her efforts to build One Minneapolis, a city that offers equal opportunities to all residents.
“Today’s announcement will provide our City with the new tools we need to help combat the housing disparities we have long struggled to overcome,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “I look forward to working with our partners to dismantle barriers and create more inclusive policies that will help end inequities in our housing market, and bring us that much closer to achieving our goal of One Minneapolis.”
As a result of the new rule, HUD will now provide Minneapolis and cities across the country that receive HUD funding, with data driven analysis and technical assistance to better understand housing landscapes. The rule will also help Minneapolis identity existing inequities, such as racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty and housing disparity, and dismantle barriers to fair housing.
The new rule also gives the City the ability to develop equitable housing policy, goals, and programs that are specific to Minneapolis and encourages community participation in the process.
While the final rule will take effect 30 days after publication, HUD will phase in implementation of the rule so that cities have substantial time to transition to the new approach.
HUD’s executive summary of the rule can be read here and the key features can be read below:
· Clarifying existing fair housing obligations. Existing patterns of meeting AFFH obligations have been undermined by limited access to data about fair housing conditions and access to opportunity. A Government Accountability Office report from 2010 also cited a lack of clarity, standards, and transparency for communities under the current process. HUD’s rule clarifies and standardizes this process.
· Publicly open data on fair housing and access to opportunity. HUD will provide publicly open data and mapping tools to aid community members and local leaders in setting local fair housing priorities and goals.
· A balanced approach to fair housing. The final rule helps to facilitate communities relying on local knowledge and local decision-making to determine best strategies for meeting their fair housing obligations at the local level – including making place-based investments to revitalize distressed areas, or expanding access to quality affordable housing throughout a community.
· Expanding access to opportunity. The strength of America’s economy, the stability and security of its neighborhoods, and the ability for all to prosper depends on all Americans having equal access to opportunity – no matter what they look like or where they come from. This rule facilitates local decision-making by HUD grantees to expand equal access to opportunity for all Americans.
· Valuing local data and knowledge. HUD is providing grantees with publicly open data to assist with their assessment of fair housing, but grantees will also use local data and knowledge to inform local decision-making, including information obtained through the community participation process.
· Customized tools for local leaders. Recognizing that one size does not fit all grantees, given their differing responsibilities and geographic areas served, HUD will be providing fair housing assessment tools specific to local jurisdictions, public housing authorities (PHAs), and states and Insular Areas.
· Collaboration is encouraged. Many fair housing priorities transcend a grantee’s boundaries. Actions to advance these priorities often involve coordination by multiple jurisdictions. The final rule encourages grantees to collaborate on fair housing assessments to advance regional fair housing priorities and goals.
· Community voice. The rule facilitates community participation in the local process to analyze fair housing conditions and set local priorities and goals.
· A phased-in approach. The final rule provides for additional time for communities to adopt this improved process for setting local fair housing priorities than originally proposed.
· Additional time for small grantees and recent regional collaborations. Local jurisdictions receiving a CDBG grant of $500,000 or less and qualified PHAs will have more time to submit their first AFH. Grantees that recently submitted a Regional Analysis of Impediments in connection with HUD’s Sustainable Communities competition have additional time to submit their first AFH than originally proposed.
Published Jul 8, 2015