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Fair Housing Rules Gain National Attention

Jim Armstrong, PHADA Policy Analyst

In recent weeks, HUD’s efforts to amend Obama administration rules implementing the Fair Housing Act and related court decisions have garnered attention from a surprising set of institutions. POLITICO reported an interchange between Bank of America’s Vice Chairperson and Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery concerning a possible amended disparate impact rule. The New York Times reported reactions to HUD’s efforts to amend that rule from Citi Bank, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase in addition to Bank of America all of whom urged HUD not to publish a final disparate impact rule now. Housing Wire reported that Quicken Loans and the National Association of Realtors both urged the department to withdraw its proposed disparate impact rule and revise its interpretation of a disparate impact standard applicable to fair housing.

In response to the Bank of America Vice Chairman’s letter, POLITICO reported that HUD Assistant Secretary Brian Montgomery wrote that HUD, “is working on a daily basis to live up to the spirit of the Fair Housing Act.” Montgomery has remained silent on the Vice Chairman’s request that HUD cease its efforts to amend the disparate impact rule. JP Morgan Chase’s letter to Secretary Carson suggested that HUD scrap its current efforts to amend the disparate impact rule and restart the amendment process. Carson has not yet responded to that letter.

Further complicating matters, late in June the President published a tweet in which he announced that, “I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas. Not fair to homeowners, I may END!”

 

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