In 2015 HUD issued the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” Rule, which requires jurisdictions receiving federal financial aid for housing to account for fair housing issues in their regular planning processes. This means that the jurisdictions would have to actively avoid urban planning that would lead to segregation, or unfairly impact peoples’ ability to buy or rent homes due to their race, color, religion, sex, family status, disability, or national origin. Ultimately, the Rule’s goals include building affordable housing in areas well-served by transit and prohibiting landlords from discriminating against people who use a government subsidy to pay part of their rent.
But in January 2018, HUD suddenly suspended the Rule’s requirement that local governments complete assessments that follow the guidelines in the Rule. This suspension was not the result of a notice and comment rulemaking procedure, which was why in May 2018 we filed a complaint, a motion for a preliminary injunction, and a motion for summary judgment, to challenge the suspension as a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The plaintiffs are the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, and Texas Appleseed. The case asks the court to order HUD to rescind the suspension and to implement and enforce the requirements of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule going forward.
A hearing on our motion for preliminary injunction and expedited summary judgment is scheduled for July 18, before Chief District Judge Beryl A. Howell.