Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing | On July 8, HUD released the Final Rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). The rule provides recipients of HUD funding with guidelines and data to promote fair housing
and ensure that everyone has the right to fair housing, regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. According to HUD, the Final Rule "simplifies existing fair housing obligations and creates a streamlined Assessment of Fair Housing planning process." Read more about HUD's rule on AFFH and access a copy of the Final Rule here. Look for a summary and analysis from MHP soon!
Disparate Impact | In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the notion that housing discrimination doesn't have to be intentional to be illegal. Government or private policies that have discriminatory effects or a "disparate impact" on a group of people violate the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The ruling is a huge victory for advocates because it means plaintiffs can challenge unintentional or disguised prejudices that result in segregated housing patterns. Read an in-depth analysis on the ruling on Scotusblog. Learn more about disparate impact from the National Fair Housing Alliance resources.
This summer, the U.S. House and the Senate Appropriations Committee has each passed a Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill that severely under-funds needed housing programs. Both bodies were forced to make drastic cuts in order to to adhere to the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps.
Until a sequester relief deal is struck, appropriation committees in both the House and Senate are adhering to the spending caps. In the meantime, Senate Democrats plan to block full Senate floor consideration of both the House and Senate bills. President Obama has threatened to veto any spending bill that uses sequestration spending caps.
Click on the chart to see detailed House and Senate proposed funding for select HUD programs. Read below for more analysis and policy updates in the two bills.
For several years, MHP has heard from community partners that the lack of available and affordable housing for workers in Greater Minnesota is an ongoing frustration which leaves renters competing for housing and constrains job growth. MHP believes that the Legislature has a role to play in addressing the near inability of the market to support development of workforce housing for lower and moderate income renters in Greater Minnesota.
At the Capitol this year, MHP worked with Homes for All to increase funds for housing across the spectrum of need. MHP and Homes for All asked legislators to budget an additional $39 million for housing development and supportive housing services to meet housing needs of the homeless to moderate-income workers. Ultimately, Homes for All met with success again this year in securing an additional $25.5 million in funding. Funding included $15.5 million in budget appropriations for housing and human services programs plus $10 million in bonds for housing, which was a welcome outcome of end of session leadership negotiations. Ultimately, Minnesota Housing and DHS will benefit from $36.5 million more in 2016-17 than in 2014-15 for these selected programs.*
See Me As I Am - Creating Awareness Through Photography, the Youth Leadership Initiative discusses homelessness through photography. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 N. Lexington Parkway, St. Paul. July 24, 4-6 p.m.