FHFA and AFFH: We submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency in response to their request for input on the advancement of equity in housing finance, emphasizing the need to conform equity plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the affirmative furthering fair housing mandate of the Fair Housing Act.
Mobility Conference coming next Thursday – the (virtual) 8th National Conference on Housing Mobility kicks off at noon eastern next Thursday afternoon (Nov 4) – free registration is still open here.
Census concerns: In a letter to the Census Bureau last week, we expressed concerns that a proposal to eliminate some types of small-area demographic data reporting could undermine civil rights research and monitoring.
In memoriam: Tom Henderson, an early PRRAC Board member and former Chief Counsel of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights passed away earlier this month at the age of 69. Tom led the landmark Sanders v. HUD public housing desegregation litigation, among many other cases, and was a loyal and powerful presence on our Board for many years. You can read more about Tom’s life and career here.
Other news and resources
Progress on Build Back Better: The White House today announced an agreed-upon spending framework for the reconciliation package, including $150 billion in funding for housing. No specific language yet, but the White House fact sheet states:
“The framework will enable the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than 1 million affordable homes, boosting housing supply and reducing price pressures for renters and homeowners. It will address the capital needs of the public housing stock in big cities and rural communities all across America and ensure it is not only safe and habitable but healthier and more energy-efficient as well. It will make a historic investment in rental assistance, expanding vouchers to hundreds of thousands of additional families. And, it includes one of the largest investments in down payment assistance in history, enabling hundreds of thousands of first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first home and build wealth. This legislation will create more equitable communities, through investing in community-led redevelopments projects in historically under-resourced neighborhoods and removing lead paint from hundreds of thousands of homes, as well as by incentivizing state and local zoning reforms that enable more families to reside in higher opportunity neighborhoods.” (+ more detail from NLIHC here)
Global fair housing: The UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing has issued a report on the global phenomenon of housing discrimination and segregation.
Voucher discrimination in Virginia: Using testing data provided by the Housing Rights Initiative, the Virginia Attorney General has filed lawsuits against owners of managers of thirteen rental properties.
Exclusionary zoning in the House: pushing back against the legally incorrect notion that Congress has no authority to regulate local zoning, the Financial Services Committee held an interesting hearing on October 15, recorded here. The White House is also holding a forum on exclusionary zoning tomorrow (register here), building on a recent statement of the Council of Economic Advisers.