FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2020
Washington, D.C.— the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) decision on Thursday to terminate the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which directed HUD to make sure that neither HUD nor the localities and public housing agencies it funds would discriminate in their programs.
We strongly oppose Secretary Carson’s decision to terminate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH), a critical provision that combated discrimination in localities and publicly funded housing agencies. Low-income communities of color were already facing monumental challenges in accessing affordable homes even before the economic downturn caused by COVID-19; with some estimates suggesting that as many as 28 million people could be evicted in the coming months, the elimination of the provision only exacerbates the looming homelessness and housing crisis. The AFFH rule was a historic step in not only preventing racial and other forms of discrimination, but also, in proactively allowing those most marginalized by years of inequity, to have a voice in shaping policy at the local level.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to amplify the grave disparities and structural racism that exists in our country’s housing system,” said Seema Agnani, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development. “Yesterday’s decision further amplifies this Administration’s lack of respect and care for the American people and its commitment to exclude people of color and marginalized communities from housing and other critical government services. This decision is particularly harmful in the context of the current political moment – the nation coming together to demand an end to systemic racism.”
NCAPA National Director Gregg Orton stated, “The Trump Administration trying to hide the truth of their decision in the headline of their press release tells you everything you need to know: terminating a fair housing rule is a bad headline—they knew it—so they threw in the rule’s acronym to try and hide it.
This also follows the mind-numbing and maddening pattern that has defined their response to the COVID-19 crisis: make things worse. When faced with a public health crisis, they wanted to take healthcare away from Americans. Now, with millions of Americans facing economic uncertainty, a direct result of their failure to address the pandemic responsibly, they want to undercut housing protections.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.