National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Vince Malta criticized a fair housing regulation change announced by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Thursday.

“NAR is disappointed that HUD has taken this step, which significantly weakens the federal government’s commitment to the goals of the Fair Housing Act,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “The viability of our 1.4 million members depends on the free, transparent and efficient transfer of property in this country, and NAR maintains that a strong, affirmative fair housing rule is vital to advancing our nation’s progress toward thriving and inclusive communities. With the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color reminding us of the costs of the failure to address barriers to housing opportunity, NAR remains committed to ensuring no American is unfairly denied this fundamental right in the future.”

The “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice” rule will return power to local communities as they strive to provide affordable housing, HUD announced. It replaces the “Affirmatively Affirming Fair Housing” regulation, issued in 2015 by the Obama Administration, because the old rule was “complicated, costly and ineffective.”

Read the announcement by HUD Secretary Ben Carson.