On January 19, HUD published interim guidance on how states should comply with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule until HUD finalizes the state Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) Tool. HUD also provided an update on its efforts to finalize the state Assessment Tool and the other assessment tools it is developing for other HUD program participants.
The AFFH final rule required state agencies to submit an AFH no later than 270 calendar days prior to the start of the program year beginning January 1, 2018, for which a new consolidated plan is due. However, it also stated that no AFH will be due before the publication of the Assessment Tool applicable to the program participant, and that HUD must provide program participants a minimum of nine months after the publication of their Assessment Tool before their AFH is due. Because HUD has not yet finalized the state Assessment Tool, it is directing states that would otherwise have an AFH due to HUD prior to nine months after it publishes the final state Assessment Tool to instead conduct an update of the state’s Analysis of Impediments (AI), as opposed to an AFH. HUD encourages states updating their AI pending the final state Assessment Tool to consider the framework set forth in the AFFH rule and draft state Assessment Tools in updating their AI.
HUD published the most recent draft of the state Assessment Tool for comment on September 28, 2016. NCSHA and other interested parties provided comments on the draft the following month. HUD intends to consider the comments it received in the development of a new draft of the state Assessment Tool, on which it also will solicit comments. Upon the publication of the upcoming draft state Assessment Tool, HUD also intends to issue a draft Data and Mapping Tool (AFFH-T) for comment. It will then finalize and publish both the final state Assessment Tool and the Final AFFH-T.
The interim guidance HUD published also provides direction on how states can collaborate with local governments and public housing agencies.