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Biden Lays Out His Blueprint for Fair Housing

Undoing Trump’s rules on segregation is only the start of what appears to be a slate of equity-focused priorities. 

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a set of executive orders on Tuesday aimed at improving racial equity across American society, including combating discrimination in housing policies. 

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a set of executive orders on Tuesday aimed at improving racial equity across American society, including combating discrimination in housing policies. 

Photographer: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg 

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 27 directing his administration to end policies that enable discrimination in housing and lending, and acknowledging the federal government’s role in erecting systemic barriers to fair housing. It’s a blueprint for an agenda aimed at swiftly undoing the controversial efforts of his predecessor.

With the new directives and several recent agency appointments, the full parameters of the new president’s plans are coming into view. Part of a package of White House actions to promote equity, Biden’s executive order tasked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to review two key rules implemented under the Trump administration. One of those rules governs how cities assess and enforce efforts to reduce segregation, a Civil Rights-era mandate that Trump repeatedly mischaracterized as an attempt to “abolish the suburbs.” The other rule polices discrimination in rental housing and mortgage lending, standards that were relaxed under former Housing Secretary Ben Carson.