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HUD moves to restore fair housing rules weakened under Trump

The resurrected rules — currently under regulatory review by the OMB — mark one of the biggest steps HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge has taken since her swearing-in last month. President Joe Biden signed an executive order in January directing HUD to redress racially discriminatory housing policies as one of four executive actions the White House said would “advance racial equity.”

The 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule would have required local governments to track patterns of segregation and poverty with a checklist of 92 questions to receive federal housing grants. The Trump administration suspended its implementation in 2018. Officials then proposed a watered-down revision before scrapping it altogether last summer as former President Donald Trump campaigned on the warning that Democrats were trying to ruin the suburbs by shoving low-income housing down their throats.

Lost in the uproar over the Trump administration’s race-baiting approach, though, were complaints about the rule’s complexity and the cost of implementing it, including from some local Democratic governments. The notice posted Tuesday did not include details on any changes to the rule or its implementation.

In a sign that the battle lines haven’t changed much on the rule, Senate Banking Committee ranking member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) called the original rule “overly prescriptive” during a hearing on racial discrimination in housing Tuesday morning.

Carson’s HUD also introduced a regulation revamping the agency’s 2013 discriminatory effects rule by requiring plaintiffs to meet a higher threshold to prove unintentional discrimination, known as disparate impact. A federal judge in October issued a preliminary injunction to stop the agency from implementing the new rule just before it was finalized.

Read More: HUD moves to restore fair housing rules weakened under Trump

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