PVA Defends Fair Housing Rule

50% of all reported complaints of housing discrimination are initiated by people with disabilities.

In May, during Senate consideration of the FY 2017 appropriations bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and others introduced an amendment to prohibit HUD from implementing or enforcing its "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" (AFFH) rule. Issued last year, this rule contained long-awaited guidance and data intended to help state and local governments connect housing and community development dollars to neighborhood opportunities for people with housing challenges, including people with disabilities. Each year, over 50% of all reported complaints of housing discrimination are initiated by people with disabilities. HUD's AFFH rule aims to assist state and local governments in identifying strategies and solutions to expand accessible and supportive housing choices for veterans and other individuals with disabilities.

PVA was among numerous organizations supporting fair housing to send a letter to all members of the Senate urging the defeat of the Lee amendment. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke against the amendment citing PVA's letter and entering it into the record. Although the Lee amendment was ultimately defeated, concerns remain that a substitute provision could still impede the AFFH rule in matters related to zoning if it were to be included in a final appropriations bill. Action in the House on this funding bill is not expected to happen anytime soon and it may eventually wind up in a continuing resolution. However, PVA and its allies in the fair housing community will continue to monitor the evolution of the T-HUD appropriations to warn against efforts to undermine fair housing.

 

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