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How the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule can advance racial and health equity

Written by Build Healthy Places Staff on March 29, 2023

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Build Healthy Places Network’s Video Snapshots offer quick deep dives with experts from the community development, health, and finance sectors. Our current series uplifts practices that support community engagement processes and projects that are community-led and owned. The latest interviews in our series features experts who share how the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule can advance efforts that support racial and health equity and how organizations can participate in the AFFH rule public comment process. 

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule was published in 2015 under the Obama Administration which strengthened the AFFH rule by requiring housing authorities, local, and state governments to advance housing equity and create more opportunities for disinvested neighborhoods. On January 19, 2023, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the new proposed AFFH rule in which participants must take meaningful steps to address housing discrimination and engage community members in decision-making processes that will help communities achieve housing equity and improve their health and well-being. 

In the first interview, Build Healthy Places Network’s Co-Executive Director Colleen Flynn, speaks with Will Dominie, the Housing Justice Program Director from Human Impact Partners, a national non-profit that transforms the field of public health to center equity and build collective power with social justice movements. 

During this discussion, Will shares why his organization is prioritizing the proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. He also highlights the discriminatory practices and inequitable opportunities that BIPOC communities experience and how these changes can uplift community voices and increase self-determination to address inequities and create healthier futures. 

In the second interview, Colleen Flynn, speaks with Rasheedah Phillips, the Director of Housing from PolicyLink, a national research and action institute dedicated to advancing economic and social equity.

During the conversation, Rasheedah shares the history of the AFFH rule and why access to fair and affordable housing advances racial equity. Rasheedah and Colleen discuss how the new proposed rule will allow community members to advocate for policies in their communities that will help them achieve a fair and just opportunity for health.  

HUD has extended the comment period until April 24th, 2023. Below are resources that were shared during the interview that may be helpful for organizations or individuals that would like to submit comments.