Oppose the Lee Amendment to Block Fair Housing Rule
Advocacy Letter - 05/12/16
Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. Senate
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we urge you to oppose an amendment offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to the FY 2017 T-HUD/MilCon-VA Appropriations bill. The Lee amendment would prohibit the Department of Housing and Urban Development from implementing or enforcing a regulation that is central to fulfilling the purposes of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
The Fair Housing Act requires any jurisdiction that receives federal housing and community development funds to demonstrate that it is spending those funds fairly and equitably, in a manner that serves all communities. The “affirmatively furthering fair housing” regulation does not impose any new obligations; rather, it simply explains in greater detail the options that localities have for living up to their existing ones. In doing so, the rule provides local governments with broad discretion to decide which issues to prioritize and address.
Cities and localities are under no obligation to seek federal taxpayer funds for HUD projects. But if they do, it is only fair that they should ensure that all taxpayers can enjoy the benefits without the prospect of unlawful discrimination. The Lee amendment would send exactly the wrong message and would undermine the progress that our nation has made in providing fair housing opportunities for all Americans.
Again, we urge you to oppose the Lee amendment to block the “affirmatively furthering fair housing” rule. If you have any questions, please contact either of us, or Senior Counsel Rob Randhava, at (202) 466-3311.
President & CEO
Executive Vice President