Black HomeownershipPolitics & Money

NAR comes out strong against AFFH fair housing rule termination

President's tweet on AFFH yesterday stirs up controversy

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted about his administration’s actions in abolishing the Obama-era AFFH fair housing rule – a move which we covered on July 23.

In his tweet, President Trump wrote (among other things): “I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood… Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”

For context, the Trump administration formally announced last week it would terminate the Obama-era rule regarding the implementation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, or AFFH, provision of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, according to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

At that time, Carson alleged the provision has proven “to be complicated, costly, and ineffective.”

President Trump’s tweet on Wednesday ignited heated reactions from both sides of the fence. We reached out to industry organizations to get their perspectives on the administration’s actions.

The National Association of Realtors came out strong on Wednesday, expressing its disappointment that HUD was “retreating” on its decades-long policy requiring that communities receiving taxpayer money address discrimination and segregation.

The organization pointed out that, following the administration’s initial proposal in January, NAR had publicly commented that the changes threatened to strip away the rule’s original civil rights purpose, as mandated by the 1968 law.

In a statement on Wednesday, NAR President Vince Malta, a broker at Malta & Co. Inc., in San Francisco, said NAR’s commitment to fair housing and the property rights of all remains “unwavering.”

“Discrimination and bias have absolutely no place in housing,” he added. “We will continue to push all policymakers in Washington to ensure that the federal government promotes equality and eliminates discrimination in the housing market, for the benefit of all.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)’s response today was simple, but to the point: “The Fair Housing Act remains a vital law and is something MBA strongly endorses.”

AIME, the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts, declined to comment.

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