5/17/2022 in News & Media, Press Releases

NFHA Urges Biden Administration To Prioritize Fair Housing As It Pledges To Close The Affordable Housing Gap In Five Years

WASHINGTON— May 17, 2022 Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) called on the Biden Administration to center fair housing in its Housing Supply Action Plan. On Monday, the White House outlined a plan to eliminate the nation’s shortage of affordable housing over the next five years.

A link to the White House’s plan can be found here.

“Affordable housing on its own does not create housing choices that are free of discrimination, nor does it even provide equitable access to housing opportunities,” said Lisa Rice, President, and CEO of NFHA. “The same is true for changes to zoning and land-use controls. Throughout our history, plans that tackled affordability, but fell short on fair housing oversight and compliance, exacerbated residential segregation and racial homeownership and wealth gaps. Centuries of race-conscious policies created the inequities in housing and wealth that persist today, and only policies based on fair housing principles can rectify those injustices. Without fair housing enforcement and compliance, the affordable housing challenge will remain a factor in the lives of millions of consumers, and we will not make any progress at all in mitigating the persistent debilitating impacts of residential segregation and discrimination.”

The White House’s Housing Supply Action Plan must account for continuing deep disparities replete throughout our housing and finance markets. A study commissioned by the Appraisal Subcommittee revealed deep and prevailing inequities and bias in the U.S. appraisal system. A systemic analysis of real estate practices in New York revealed high rates of discrimination against Black, Latino, and Asian consumers. This analysis mirrors a more widescale multi-state investigation that revealed high levels of discrimination. An analysis of mortgage data shows continuing redlining and lending discrimination patterns. Yet another study revealed that algorithmic bias causes Black and Latino consumers to be surcharged by over $450 million annually. These inequities will only be eliminated by a robust housing plan centered on equity and fair housing principles. While tax credit-based solutions are an important part of the equation, they must comply with the Fair Housing Act’s Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) mandate. Treasury has a responsibility to fully enforce AFFH in all its housing programs. We are excited to see the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act included in the Administration’s proposal. Yet even a well-meaning plan that does not include equity-centered measures throughout will harm communities that deserve fair access to safe and affordable housing and mortgage loans.

We call on the Administration to ensure the Housing Supply Action Plan includes the following equity measures:

  1. $800 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) to increase compliance and ensure affordable housing programs comport with the nation’s fair housing and lending laws, and provide critical support for local fair housing enforcement; 
  2. At least $10 billion for First Generation Down Payment Assistance to begin to close racial homeownership and wealth gaps;
  3. Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) support and liquidity for Special Purpose Credit Programs;
  4. Elimination of Loan Level Pricing Adjustments added by the GSEs during the Great Recession since these pricing surcharges disproportionately impact Black and Latino borrowers, pricing them out of mortgage loans; and
  5. Reconstitution of the President’s Fair Housing Council to ensure alignment with fair housing principles in all federal programs, including infrastructure programs, that impact housing and lending markets.

Studies show that fair housing and equity-centered principles in housing and other policies benefit the whole society, drive inclusive economic growth, and make our nation more productive and globally competitive. The recent mass shooting in Buffalo shows the urgent need to tackle the lasting impacts of the federal government’s role in perpetuating residential segregation. Our thoughts remain with the families of the victims.


The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.