State and local leaders react to Trump Administration's rollback on Obama era policy

Devin Martin
Created: July 31, 2020 05:55 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Last week, the Trump administration got rid of The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, an Obama era policy.  

This required local governments to identify and address patterns of racial segregation.  

"I think we can expect better from our federal government in terms of leadership,” Anne Mavity, the executive director of Minnesota Housing Partnership said. 
 Mavity works for the state and advocates for affordable housing, and she says she can't figure out why the president is cutting this program. 
 "Discriminating against people's access to housing based on race is just not effective, or equitable, or good for our communities,” Mavity said. “We need everyone to have access to fair housing." 
 Minnesota Housing Partnership is an organization looking to increase the amount of affordable housing in Minnesota. The group is condemning the Trump administration's actions. 
 "In Minnesota, we have about 250,000 minimum wage workers across the state, and yet minimum wage is not enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in Minnesota, and disproportionately our minimum wage workers are people of color,” Mavity said. “We need housing that is affordable to everybody in our community in order for our communities to thrive."
 Dave Dunn with Olmsted County says this rollback won't stop him and his team from the work they do every day. 
 "It doesn’t impact people who are currently housed but what it really gets into is some of the paperwork that we do with HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development,)” Dunn said. “Our rule is to not only encourage fair housing but we encourage people to live in diverse parts of the community."
 The Housing and Redevelopment Authority last month opened 30 units of transitional housing for the homeless.
 Dave says they are also working with Center City Housing to create 30 more apartments, especially for those with mental health issues.
 "Anything that we can really do to promote a part of a thriving community as a place to live for everyone is really what we're trying to do,” Dunn said. 
 Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said this week, the AFFH was complicated and costly.

He also says the Trump administration has created programs like opportunity zones in underserved communities where affordable housing exists, but opportunity does not.  

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