NJ’s Congressman Payne, Jr. Joins Letter Asking HUD Secretary Carson to Halt Pushback to Fair Housing
Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-D-10) was one of thirty-eight Democrats in the House of Representatives who signed a letter to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) asking for answers about the suspension of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.
The letter, dated February 5, 2017, asked HUD Secretary Ben Carson to provide more information on the agency’s recent decision to effectively suspend its AFFH rule. The lawmakers expressed concern with HUD’s actions and asked for Dr. Carson to respond to several questions by February 28.
Many civil rights, housing, and community development groups, including NLIHC, strongly opposed HUD’s January 5 notice that effectively suspended the AFFH rule and removed jurisdictions’ accountability for upholding all aspects of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
The letter states, “The Fair Housing Act not only makes it unlawful for jurisdictions to discriminate, it also requires that they take actions to dismantle historical patterns of segregation, which continue to limit the housing choices and opportunities of protected classes, including people of color, people with disabilities, families with children and religious groups. Despite the law’s passage 50 years ago, segregation still plagues our communities, resulting in inequities in all aspects of life, including education, health and income. The AFFH rule reaffirms the strongly held American belief that your zip code should not determine your access to opportunity. Unfortunately, HUD has abruptly decided to push back implementing this rule without input from these stakeholders and has not justified the agency’s actions in any convincing manner.”