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The symbol for the Fair Housing Act: signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson (1968)
Chhaya unequivocally condemns the Trump administration’s decision to end the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule pursuant to the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a housing counseling agency with 20 years of experience serving immigrant communities, Chhaya has seen the important role fair housing protections play in addressing discrimination as well as the work that remains to be done. Our counselors see dozens of cases of discrimination every year. Housing segregation continues to persist and needs to be addressed by all levels of government. The President’s racist and classist tweet exclaiming suburban residents will be unburdened by affordable housing development, promising rising home values, and reduced crime as a result, is a full-blown endorsement of segregation and underscores exactly why the AFFH rule is needed.
The landscape of housing segregation in America was intentionally designed by federal agencies, local authorities, and the real estate industry to promote wealth and financial opportunity for white Americans while relegating black Americans and other communities of color to disinvested urban and rural neighborhoods with stagnating or plummeting land values, predatory financial services, and economic destitution. The Fair Housing Act, along with other key civil rights legislation, began the process of undoing the history of redlining and discimination that has shaped our country’s segregated neighborhoods and vast racial wealth gap.
A passive interpretation and implementation of the law during the decades that followed its passage allowed discrimination in housing to continue throughout the country. In 2015, the Obama Administration promulgated the AFFH rule, calling on municipalities who receive federal funds for housing to examine housing barriers that exist in their communities, report on housing segregation trends, and develop a plan to actively reduce segregation. We know that these efforts are still needed in today’s America.
Chhaya supports the amendment to the Fiscal 2021 House Transportation-HUD spending bill, introduced by Representative Ocasio-Cortez and other house leaders, that would block the President’s attempt to dismantle the AFFH rule. Please contact your congressional representative and demand that they preserve the AFFH rule in the 2021 House Transportation-HUD spending bill. Click here to find your representative and their contact information.
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