Expanded housing access possible by new rule

Submit a unique comment on fair housing and the impacts of segregation by April 10!

In February, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took new steps toward addressing patterns of segregation and expanding fair access to housing by proposing a change in policy through a proposed rule. The “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) proposal is currently available to be commented on through April 10 by the public as it makes its way through the federal rulemaking process. The proposal would create more accurate maps of existing segregation in our communities and facilitate local plans to help proactively lower housing discrimination in our communities.  
Important process note: Unlike most ELCA Action Alerts, you must use the federalregister.gov page to submit your public comment. Submit your public comment today to support this fair housing rule!
Instructions for writing a public comment: We suggest you read more about the rule, reference the talking points below, as well as reflect on your own ministry, spiritual grounding and/or experience related to how unfair access to housing and discriminatory practices in homeownership impacts your community. While your comment doesn’t need to be very long—it does need to be in your own words. 
HUD is required to review and respond to comments and take them into consideration in finalizing the rule. If you choose to upload a PDF in the comment portal, please include the docket number "[Docket No. FR–6250–P–0]” in the text of your document. Please note: your comment is entered into the public record. 

Deadline: Submit your comment no later than April 10.
General Talking Points 
  • Possible opening: As an active member of [your local congregation, city], I am writing in support of this proposed rule. People of faith hold profound concern over discriminatory barriers to housing and have long held accounting for diversity is beneficial for the wellbeing of our communities. 
  • The ELCA social statement Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture boldly states that the church should be mindful of how economic forces have worked against marginalized communities and pursue justice on matters of fair housing. As it affirms, “this church will support legislation, ordinances, and resolutions that guarantee to all persons equally… the right to rent, buy, and occupy housing in any place” (p. 7). Therefore, we are committed to public policy advocacy that seeks to eliminate housing discrimination in all its forms. 
  • During the Civil Rights era in the 1960’s, Lutherans were active in addressing segregation in our communities, including by advocating against segregation laws and by empowering families seeking mortgages and home ownership in their communities with financial support. 
  • Access to safe and affordable housing is a vital need for the wellbeing of the whole human person. Housing impacts many aspects of our lives, including hunger and nutrition, health, education, employment and more. 
More About the Proposed Rule: The proposed rule would enforce a long neglected provision of the Fair Housing Act that requires the federal government to affirmatively further fair housing. The current text of the rule would help HUD build a better map of areas where segregation is still a prevalent issue in the United States. HUD would also set up a system for major recipients of federal housing funding to set up their own plans to address fair housing inequalities—plans which often include strategies like consultation with local faith leaders and other community stakeholders. 

Submit your original, public comment now using this link to federalregister.gov

The opening letter of the ELCA World Hunger resource "Housing: A Practical Guide for Learning, Advocating and Building," reads: "As followers of Christ, we must remember that our shared story of faith begins with a family in need of shelter and a community stepping up to meet that need. And in the Lutheran tradition, we recognize our calling to be a public church — one freed to engage with and be a meaningful presence in the world, to share the good news of Christ, rather than one detached from the realities of our communities. " Thank you for taking action. 
Although it will not create a comment on the proposed rule, you are optionally invited to send a message below to ELCA advocacy staff notifying us of your public comment submission action via federalregister.gov.

POSTED: 3/14/2023


  • ELCA Advocacy


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Dear [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]