President Donald Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development is working to rescind Obama-era rules aimed at mitigating housing segregation, Secretary Ben Carson said Monday.
On Monday, the Trump administration formally began the process of revamping a 2015 rule that required cities and towns to examine historic patterns of segregation and create plans to combat it, or lose federal funding.
The administration argued that the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule hinders the development of affordable housing.
Carson said the rule is "suffocating investment in some of our most distressed neighborhoods that need our investment the most”.
Former Obama administration official Sara Pratt, who helped fashion the rule, said the move will simply allow communities to return to ignoring the issue of segregation in fair housing.
"You're going back to communities willfully blinding themselves to patterns of segregation," said Pratt, whose law firm is representing a coalition of groups suing the Trump administration for its earlier efforts to suspend the rule. "Without this rule, communities will not do the work to eliminate discrimination and segregation."
The Trump administration has said previously that its goal will be to boost the availability of affordable housing across the U.S.
Carson told The Wall Street Journal that he would "encourage the development of mixed-income multifamily dwellings all over the place" by making HUD money contingent on looser zoning rules.