FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2020
Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
National Fair Housing Alliance Issues Policy Roadmap for Biden Administration and 117th Congress
Leading Fair Housing Organization Pushes to Expand Housing and Racial Equity, Enhance Community Stability, and Strengthen Economic Security
Washington, D.C. — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) issued a policy roadmap for the Biden-Harris administration and the 117th Congress to reverse damage caused by the Trump administration and ensure communities of color can bounce back stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is centered around four key goals and corresponding actions to be taken on day one, in the first 100 days, and during the first year in office.
The roadmap includes recommendations to unwind the damage done to the nation’s fair housing infrastructure in the past four years and enable the Biden-Harris administration to effectively respond to the national call for racial equality. It also includes forward-looking recommendations to advance a fair housing agenda and ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing in thriving, well-resourced neighborhoods. The main policy goals include:
- Dismantling residential segregation, offering real choice in housing, and creating thriving communities;
- Eliminating the dual credit market and creating access to sustainable and affordable credit for all;
- Strengthening the nation’s fair housing and fair lending enforcement infrastructure; and
- Creating greater fairness in the housing and financial services industries.
The organization’s first goal of dismantling residential segregation includes more than a dozen policy recommendations for President-elect Biden and Congressional leaders for the first 100 days. The recommendations build off of NFHA’s Fair Housing Trends Report, which highlights the jeopardy the nation faces as a result of unprecedented attacks on fair housing and civil rights. They include everything from re-establishing the President’s Fair Housing Council, to requiring meaningful fair housing impact analyses to fill the nation’s affordable housing shortage, and prohibiting lending institutions, housing providers, and other entities operating in the housing space from accessing federal programs, subsidies, tax breaks, or other government assistance if they have violated the Fair Housing Act or Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
“The Biden-Harris administration must take bold action in the first 100 days to advance fair housing. Withdrawing the Trump administration’s corrosive Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Disparate Impact rules and reinstating the former stronger rules is a critical first step,” said Lisa Rice, NFHA’s President and CEO. “Over 4 million instances of housing discrimination occur in this country each year. We need the new administration to aggressively enforce our fair housing laws, especially as we reckon with our country’s long standing structural racism and its impact on all aspects of our lives. Our nation’s fair housing laws have never been fully enforced and it is time for that to change.”
Eliminating racial inequities in the U.S. could add $5 trillion of growth to our GDP over the next five years. Failure to resolve centuries-long injustices not only harms everyone in this society but also inhibits our country’s productivity and ability to build a stronger economy. By ensuring equity for all of those in our communities who have been left out and left behind, we enhance our collective prosperity.
To advance these goals, in addition to reinstating HUD’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule and rescinding the 2020 Disparate Impact rule, the new administration must vigorously use vehicles like Special Purpose Credit Programs to address structural barriers that limit opportunities for underserved groups. Within the first 100 days, legislation must also include the Housing, Opportunity, Mobility, and Equity Act; the Housing Fairness Act; the Equality Act; the Neighborhood Homes Improvement Act; and the Fair Housing Improvements Act.
The new administration and Congress must make the obligation to comply with the nation’s civil rights laws unequivocally clear and must rebuild confidence among the public that fair housing and fair lending rights will be vigorously enforced and protected. We at NFHA look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration, the new Congress, HUD Secretary-designate Marcia Fudge, and the heads of all federal agencies to implement these policy priorities.
Visit https://nationalfairhousing.org/public-policy-advocacy/ to read NFHA’s Policy Priorities Map for the Biden administration and the 117th Congress.
About The National Fair Housing Alliance
Founded in 1988, NFHA is a consortium of more than 200 private, nonprofit fair housing organizations and state and local civil rights agencies from throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., NFHA works to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through leadership, education, outreach, membership services, public policy initiatives, community development, advocacy, and enforcement.