We all need a home and community where we feel secure. We need a home where we have easy access to work, school, family and community — and still have enough to pay for life’s necessities.
Ben Carson and Donald Trump are attacking fair and affordable housing. They are proposing a new rule that would strip away fair housing law and attack protections like rent control, labor and climate standards, manufactured housing regulations, and threaten the funding of cities and states most impacted by the housing and homelessness crisis. They’re doing this by coming after the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.
What is Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)?
It is part of the fair housing act. The Fair Housing Act outlaws housing discrimination based on race, sex, disability, religion, nation of origin, and family make-up. At this point, sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected federally, but people are working to change that.
AFFH says it is not enough to just outlaw discrimination, we have to undo the lasting, structural harms that were caused by discrimination.
AFFH applies to cities, counties, states, and public housing agencies that get our tax dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Rules released under Obama Administration made the mandate of AFFH real. They required deep community involvement, and required that places look at all the ways discrimination impacts people’s lives, such as education, environment, transportation, health and more.
This is not the time to move backward. Segregation still plagues our cities and towns. 18 million people are being charged more than half of their income and almost half of all renters are charged more than what’s affordable to keep a roof over their heads. Air and water quality standards are plummeting, and wages are not anywhere close to keeping up with housing costs. But in the face of this reality, Trump and Carson want to make it worse while making their billionaire developer friends even more profit.
What’s in this proposal?
It proposes to strip away fair housing responsibilities, slashes community input, and requires no analysis on racial bias, nor exclusion, nor need to remove real barriers facing people of color, women, people with disabilities and more.
It would cement in federal regulations a lie that basic protections that our families and communities rely on are harmful. And, it would encourage cities, states, and public housing administrations to work to strip renter protections like rent control, worker protections, environmental protections, taxes on developers, and manufactured home safety standards.
It proposes a scoring system that would punish and put at a funding disadvantage for cities and states suffering from the worst housing crises and from decades of federal funding cuts.
This proposal is a gift to corporate developers, landlords, and polluters.
These big money interests are starting to lose. All over the country more people are organizing and winning protections for tenants, the environment, and workers. So the big money interests are fighting back and using Trump and Carson to do their dirty work to put profit over people.
But the fight is not over yet! This proposal is just a proposal right now and we have the right, and duty, to make our voices heard.
What can you do to fight back?
Make a comment and encourage your family, friends, neighbors to do so too.
The comment portal closes at 11:59 pm on Monday, March 16th.