A resolution, sponsored by Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Burlington) and Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Union), expressing opposition to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed weakening of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule was approved by the Assembly Housing Committee on Thursday.
The AFFH rule encouraged communities receiving HUD funding to take steps towards meeting their federal Fair Housing Act obligations. The AFFH introduced a number of new measures aimed at enhancing fair housing, including:
- Providing clearer standards for meeting fair housing obligations;
- Increasing access to data concerning fair housing conditions and access to opportunity, with new mapping and customizable assessment tools;
- Encouraging collaboration between jurisdictions including community input and participation; and
- Taking meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.
“HUD’s proposed changes would undo much of the AFFH rule claiming that the rule impeded the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing and provided inadequate autonomy to HUD funding recipients,” said Murphy. “The potential of these changes would turn the clock back the AFFH ruling and exacerbate housing inequities in not only New Jersey but across the country. It will hurt the communities that have benefitted from the ruling since its inception.”
“We should let HUD know where New Jersey stands on these changes and protect the strides we have made over the years in creating fair housing rules,” said Holley. “These proposals would be detrimental to the communities we serve and residents in need of affordable housing units.”
Once approved by the full Assembly, copies of this resolution would be filed with the Secretary of State, and transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the President and Vice President of the United States, the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and each member of Congress elected from this State.
The measure (AR-112) now goes to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.