Washington, D.C. – The Arc is extremely concerned by the Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule published today in the federal register. The proposed rule is a retreat from efforts to fight housing discrimination and segregation in the U.S. The proposed rule makes many potentially harmful changes, and removes language recognizing that affirmatively furthering fair housing includes an opportunity for people with disabilities to live in “the most integrated setting appropriate to the individual’s needs.” The new rule would result in less oversight, weaker and ill-advised standards, and a lost opportunity to improve housing opportunities for people most in need, including people with disabilities.
The Fair Housing Act requires housing agencies and communities receiving HUD funds to identify barriers to housing access for certain specified groups, including people with disabilities, and take affirmative steps to end housing discrimination. This new rule would replace and largely reverse the current AFFH rule, finalized in 2015, that The Arc strongly supported. This proposed rule comes in addition to HUD’s recent “disparate impact” proposed rule.
“We oppose this step to weaken fair housing protections and limit implementation and enforcement of the existing rule. Instead, HUD must protect and promote existing civil rights laws for people with disabilities,” said Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc. “HUD is entrusted with the responsibilities of enforcing the Fair Housing Act and building inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination. The proposed rule would do the opposite.”
The public has 60 days to comment on the rule. The Arc will continue to work to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a right to live in safe, accessible, affordable housing in the community. We encourage you to make your voice heard on this proposal.
The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 600 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.
Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.