Action Alert: Help Protect Against Disability Discrimination in Housing


March 10, 2020 | by Amber Smock

Important Fair Housing Rule Under Threat

Protect Against Disability Discrimination in Housing

The Fair Housing Act protects people with disabilities from discrimination in housing. One of the requirements under the Fair Housing Act is that municipalities, like the City of Chicago, and housing authorities, like the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA or Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), “Affirmatively Further Fair Housing.” (AFFH). This means they must take steps to remove the barriers people with disabilities face when trying to live in the housing of their choice. The federal agency that oversees the enforcement of the Fair Housing Act is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In 2015, HUD created an AFFH rule that required municipalities to go into the community and get feedback from people facing housing discrimination, analyze that data, and then create plans to address those fair housing barriers. This new rule was an important step forward to address unfair treatment of many groups, including people with disabilities.

In January, HUD released a proposed rule that would completely reverses the 2015 rule and strip us of an important tool in dismantling the segregation of people with disabilities. For example, it all but eliminates the requirement to reach out to communities facing housing discrimination, including people with disabilities, and get their input. In addition, it takes away the requirement to analyze what the barriers to fair housing are in a community, and use that data to put together a plan to address those barriers.

To fight back, we must flood HUD with comments; join this fight by commenting no later than 11:59 PM ET Monday, March 16th. Here is the quick and easy link we have set up so you can send your comment in. We encourage you to edit the template letter so as to personalize it. Remember, when doing a public comment, your message will be a matter of public record, so keep that in mind. Many thanks to Access Living staff attorney Mary Rosenberg for helping to create this action alert!

Please share widely across the country.