Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Under President Donald Trump, the Housing and Urban Development Department—tasked with ensuring that fair housing practices are followed—has all but abandoned its mission, critics say. (Photo: Culture:Subculture Photography/Flickr/cc)

In Latest Attack on Fair Housing Act, Carson Moves to Gut Anti-Segregation Rule

"Without this rule, communities will not do the work to eliminate discrimination and segregation."

Julia Conley

With much of the corporate media's attention focused on Tuesday on President Donald Trump's latest reported racist remarks, the president's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made its latest move away from its core mission of ensuring all Americans of all races have access to fair housing.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced late Monday that he was moving to roll back the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH), a 2015 regulation the Obama administration passed to ensure that local governments that receive federal funding combat racial segregation in housing. The rule was introduced with the intent of making sure communities were observing the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which banned housing discrimination based on race.

Under AFFH, well-off communities that accept federal grants have been pushed to introduce affordable housing to de-concentrate poverty.

Carson has derided the rule as "social engineering" and claimed on Monday that the rule was "suffocating investment" in distressed neighborhoods.

HUD has argued that the benefits of allowing low-income families to move out of impoverished neighborhoods "are likely limited to certain age and demographic groups," a theory rejected by Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard and author of a landmark study on the issue.

"Overall, the research shows that deconcentrating poverty is likely to greatly improve the health and well-being of low-income families and to have long-run economic and educational benefits for the children of low-income families," Katz told Slate.

Without the AFFH in place, communities will be free to shut low-income families out of middle-class areas.

"You're going back to communities willfully blinding themselves to patterns of segregation," Sara Pratt, a former HUD attorney under the Obama administration, told NBC News. "Without this rule, communities will not do the work to eliminate discrimination and segregation."

Several civil rights groups sued HUD earlier this year over its efforts to delay implementation of the rule until at least 2020. Fair housing advocates involved in the suit spoke out against Carson's latest attack on the AFFH on Tuesday.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Poll: Majority of Young Americans Say US Democracy 'in Trouble' or Already 'Failed'

"After turning out in record numbers in 2020, young Americans are sounding the alarm."

Jessica Corbett ·


Reproductive Rights Defenders Rally as SCOTUS Hears Challenge to Roe

"Any ruling upholding Mississippi's ban guts the central holding of Roe and our right to make fundamental decisions about our lives, our futures, and our families."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Another Hissy Fit in the Making': GOP Threatens Government Shutdown Over Biden's Vaccine Mandate

"Like every other GOP shutdown," said one Democratic lawmaker, "this would greatly harm federal employees, contractors, and the American people who need and deserve a functioning government."

Jake Johnson ·


Bowman Urges Democratic Leaders to Remove Boebert From Committees Over 'Vile' Attacks on Omar

"I, for one, will work to root out Islamophobia and discrimination of any kind, and implore my colleagues to join me in saying enough is enough."

Jake Johnson ·


Research Reveals How PR Firms Have Spent Decades Fueling Climate Misinformation

"The best time to stop working for fossil fuel clients was 20 years ago, when we had much more time to stop the climate emergency. The second best time is now."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo