The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing-related discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or disability. The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the agencies that receive HUD funding to implement its programs – such as the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) – must not discriminate, and must also use those programs to affirmatively further fair housing.
To implement that charge, HUD adopted an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule on July 16, 2015 and issued a Rule Guidebook on December 31, 2015. The AFFH rule requires fair housing planning, the first step of which is completing an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). Both the City and PHA are required to prepare the AFH, although on different schedules. However, to comprehensively assess fair housing conditions and needs in Philadelphia, the City and PHA agreed to prepare a joint AFH.