HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced a new housing rule that some critics say could increase racial segregation.
The Charlotte Observer reports the Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to reduce Obama-era fair housing regulations intended to decrease segregation, Carson announced Tuesday in Charlotte.
Carson called the requirements placed on municipalities to document its obstacles to fair housing both costly and burdensome, adding that the new proposal, “empowers local leaders to employ federal funds as they see necessary to increase affordable housing options across the board for their local citizenry,” the Charlotte Observer reports.
The new proposal would also change the metrics for how federal money is awarded, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Fair housing advocates criticized the proposal, the Charlotte Observer reports, saying it would jeopardize efforts to undo decades of housing segregation and inequality.
The Washington Post reports that by emphasizing “fair housing choice,” this approach prioritizes individual choices rather than pushing systemic changes necessary to dismantle segregated housing.
According to the Washington Post, the fair housing rule in 2015 under the Obama administration aimed to take “meaningful actions that … address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns.”
The new rule Carson has proposed is replacing that definition, the Washington Post reports.
Sara Patenaude, an affordable housing researcher, developer, and advocate wrote for The Post, “Rather than defining fair housing as a policy of active desegregation, the Trump administration emphasizes individual choice, even though we know that this is a policy dead end. Now the rule would focus on ‘advancing fair housing choice within the program participant’s control or influence.’”