New HUD Rule Targets Segregation

On July 8, 2015 HUD finalized a new rule that targets segregation in communities that receive federal funds. From the Wall Street Journal:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday laid out a rule designed to ensure communities that receive federal funds strive to buck historical patterns of housing segregation.

Under the new rule, HUD will provide communities with historical data they must use to analyze segregation patterns, areas where race and poverty are concentrated, and access to good schools and jobs. Communities now will be required to submit these analyses to HUD, set goals for reducing segregation and track the results…

Local governments, states and public-housing authorities that receive federal grants are required to ensure that zoning and affordable-housing initiatives and other funding priorities advance the goals of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The act aims to give everyone equal access to housing regardless of race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.

But communities and housing authorities have received little direction from the federal government about how to create policies or measure their success.

“This is a very thoughtful attempt by HUD to come up with a rule that gives some teeth to a small provision of the Fair Housing Act,” said Amy Glassman, of counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP, which advises public housing authorities and other multifamily housing providers on fair-housing compliance and defends them in enforcement actions.