AOC seeks to block Trump’s recent effort to roll back fair housing rule

Congresswoman introduced amendments to an appropriations bill that would defund any new rules proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, President Donald Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson (Getty)
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, President Donald Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson (Getty)

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is working to defund the Trump administration’s proposed fair housing rules before they even get off the ground.

For years, the administration has talked of dismantling an Obama-era rule which President Donald Trump has described as an “effort to abolish the suburbs.” Last week, in what appears to be a bid to win over suburban voters, the president announced that it would finally happen.

Ocasio-Cortez is seeking to frustrate the efforts with amendments she’s proposed to an appropriations bill that would prohibit federal funds from being used to comply with rules proposed under Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, according to Bloomberg. That would effectively invalidate any rules from the Housing Secretary.

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One of the rules in contest — Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a provision of the Fair Housing Act — requires that state and local governments show how federal funds have been used to reduce housing segregation. Critics have called the rule “onerous,” and the Trump administration’s plan would allow governments to certify compliance without providing any proof.

“We cannot return to the days of redlining and white flight,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement to the publication. The rules have a particular impact on wealthy suburbs, where residents often push back against big affordable housing projects that would bring in more people of color to their communities.

Secretary Carson has been working to roll back the rule by relaxing the reporting standards since he joined the Trump Administration. But after Trump intervened, Carson’s department proposed a rule that would eliminate enforcement of the provision.

The second rule the administration is looking to change has to do with how HUD takes on cases alleging “disparate impact.” The change may make it more challenging for tenants and homebuyers to pursue discrimination complaints under the Fair Housing Act. [Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson

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