HUD’s ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing’ Rule is not about desegregation

HUD’s ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing’ Rule is not about desegregation
(Image via WSJ)

Failure to meet a racial quota does not constitute segregation. That basic fact has eluded the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which recently adopted a rule called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” that seeks to alter the racial makeup of America’s cities and towns even when there is no justifiable reason to do so.

That Fair Housing Act regulation wrongly defines “segregation” as a “high concentration of persons of a particular race” or “religion.” (See 78 Fed. Reg. 43709, 43730.)

But mere “concentration” is not segregation. For example, Orthodox Jews are concentrated in certain neighborhoods because they have to walk to synagogue, not because of segregation.

The rule wrongly treats communities as segregated if they lack racially “balanced living patterns.” That ignores the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which states that school “‘desegregation” does not require institutions “to overcome racial imbalance,” and the Supreme Court, which stated in Fisher v. University of Texas (2013) that “racial balancing” is “patently unconstitutional.”

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. Hans also writes for CNS News and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”


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