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Understanding AFFH: 
Keeping Fair Housing's Promise

UPDATE 6/13/23:  At the beginning of 2023, HUD proposed new rules on removing barriers left by racist & exclusionary housing policies and ensuring our federal resources are used to build more fair and inclusive communities. ​

This Spring 1,200 advocates added their voice to the Federal Register with public comment on AFFH urging HUD to protect tenants and make the proposed rule as strong as possible

Watch below to learn more about the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing obligation and why a strong AFFH is so important to keeping the promise of the Fair Housing Act. 

Understanding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)

Understanding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)

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View our letter to HUD Secretary Marcia fudge on AFFH & tenants rights.

Take a deeper dive into AFFH below:


Historic, discriminatory land use and housing-related policies, inequitable community development practices, racial bias in mortgage lending and rental housing, and a multitude of other racially biased policies and practices have fostered pervasive negative impacts on a significant portion of America’s population.

Understanding AFFH: What is it and how does it work?

These policies and practices, once legal, denied access to homeownership, housing, good jobs, quality education, and other key quality of life amenities.

Discriminatory policies and practices resulted in neglected neighborhoods of concentrated poverty with poor housing stock, toxic environmental conditions, underfunded schools, poorly maintained parks, dilapidated infrastructure, and other problems.

Today, over 14 million people — including over 4 million children — live in communities of concentrated poverty. In the U.S. there are over 4000 neighborhoods of concentrated poverty.

Fair housing is a platform for providing access to opportunity.
Under the Obama Administration, HUD finalized the AFFH rule, making cities’ and regions’ responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act more real.

The AFFH Rule is necessary to ensure all people throughout this country have access to housing, free from illegal discrimination, and that residents of all neighborhoods are connected to the kinds of opportunities they need to flourish.

The AFFH Rule provides a structured process to change the trajectory of growing poverty and inequality.

AFFH helps HUD grantees weave together housing, health, transportation, education, environmental, and economic development approaches that support the transformation of areas of concentrated poverty into thriving communities.

AFFH fosters the design of approaches that promote access to housing that is affordable in communities with high performing schools, clean air, reliable transportation choices, and access to workforce opportunities and good jobs.

How AFFH Works

AFFH requires that local communities receiving HUD dollars make a concrete, data and community member driven plan to foster thriving communities for everyone. AFFH:

  • Equips local communities for decision making by providing local officials with data and mapping and other analytical tools. This data equips HUD grantees to better analyze patterns, trends, and conditions. Grantees are encouraged to gather additional local data and knowledge to ensure that the full local context and conditions inform the analysis.

  • Fosters rich community participation, ensuring that the experiences and perspectives of community members inform the assessment process.

  • Promotes a more effective relationship between federal investments and housing choice and access to opportunity needs, by incorporating the strategies developed during the AFH process into the Consolidated or Public Housing Authority Plans.

  • Supports and facilitates locally designed solutions. Local governments develop solutions to fair housing choice and barriers to opportunity through an integrated planning approach.

  • Promotes jobs and workforce development. The AFFH rule helps jurisdictions plan housing that is affordable and located near transit that connects to job centers in opportunity-rich communities.

  • Was shaped through extensive piloting. The AFFH rule was piloted by 74 HUD grantees through the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA). To test the effectiveness, the FHEA modeled many components of the AFFH including guidance, data, mapping, stakeholder collaboration and consultation, and robust community participation. 

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