Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). AFFH is an initiative put into place by HCD to combat housing discrimination, eliminate racial bias, undo historic patterns of segregation, and lift barriers that restrict access to housing. AFFH is in place in order to foster inclusive communities and achieve racial equity, fair housing choice, and opportunity for all Californians.
AFFH requires local governments to take meaningful actions that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities, free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics. While federal mandates prohibited overt forms of housing discrimination, residential segregation has remained through the use of discriminatory methods that reinforce patterns of segregation that persist in California today.
In 2018, the California State Legislature passed AB 686, which was passed by the California State Legislature to expand upon the fair housing requirements and protections.
In a nutshell, AB 686 applies the obligation for:
- all state and local public agencies to take action to address and relieve disparities resulting from past segregation patterns in order to foster more inclusive communities
- proactively applies the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing to all public agencies in California.
- creates new requirements that apply to all housing elements as of January 2021
- affirmatively further fair housing to be a part of a jurisdiction’s planning process and guiding documents for community development