In 2016, HUD launched a new approach to identifying fair housing challenges in a city and region, called the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). This approach encouraged communities to embrace a more comprehensive planning process, focusing on economic, as well as housing barriers. Prior to the AFH, communities accepting federal housing and community development funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were required to complete an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, or AI.
As a condition of receiving these funds, states, counties and cities must certify that they will “Affirmatively Further Fair Housing” choice—or AFFH. The way that communities will AFFH is informed by the findings from the AI. The AFFH requirement originates from the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which requires that HUD administer programs and activities relating to housing and urban development in a manner that affirmatively furthers the policies of the Act. It is important to note that the AI (nor the AFH) is not a tool to change zoning or land use. For more on HUD’s approach to AFFH see https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp16affh-p4.
In January 2018, HUD suspended the AFH requirement, reverting to the AI approach. This was done to give communities more time to adjust to the new, AFH format. HUD’s notice on this suspension can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/01/05/2018-00106/affirmatively-furthering-fair-housing-extension-of-deadline-for-submission-of-assessment-of-fair
The Central Texas Fair Housing Assessment is proceeding with a Regional AI that includes many aspects of the AFH process. The overall goal of this approach is to help communities improve economic conditions for all residents, in a way that best fits the community.