In the December 31, 2015, Federal Register, HUD announced the final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool.
The AFFH rule established requirements for public entities receiving certain HUD grants (including Community Development Block Grants, HOME funds and other program grants) to strengthen their planning processes to promote fair housing goals. HUD developed the Assessment Tool, including HUD-provided data and a series of questions and analytic procedures, to help local agencies assess fair housing issues and develop plans to affirmatively further fair housing. Both the AFFH rule and the Assessment Tool went through extensive rounds of public comment.
The preamble to the final Assessment Tool provides the following summary:
This notice announces the Assessment Tool developed by HUD for use by local governments that receive Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), or Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) formula funding from HUD when conducting and submitting their own Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The Assessment Tool will also be used for AFHs conducted by joint and regional collaborations between: (1) Such local governments; (2) one or more such local governments with one or more public housing agency (PHA) partners; and (3) other collaborations in which such a local government is designed as the lead for the collaboration. For purposes of this Assessment Tool, no AFH will be due before October 4, 2016. Please see HUD’s Web page at https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/affh/for the schedule of submission dates of AFHs.
The requirement to conduct and submit an AFH is set forth in HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations, and this Assessment Tool has completed the notice and comment process required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and approved. The Assessment Tool announced in this notice, and the guidance accompanying this Assessment Tool (the Guidebook) can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/affh/.
This Federal Register notice also highlights changes made by HUD to the Assessment Tool based on comments submitted in response to HUD’s July 16, 2015, notice, which solicited comment on the Assessment Tool for a period of 30 days. HUD will issue separate Assessment Tools for use by States and Insular areas and PHAs that will also be used for: (1) Joint and regional collaborations where the State or Insular Area is designated as the lead entity; and (2) joint collaborations with only PHA partners.