On December 23, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction in Open Communities Alliance et al., v. Carson, et al. The case, filed in October, challenges HUD’s suspension of “the Small Area FMR designation … until October 1, 2019” in 23 of the 24 jurisdictions governed by the Small Area FMR Rule. The Court further ordered that the HUD Memorandum purporting to suspend the Small Area FMR designation, entitled Suspension of Small Area Fair Market Rent (FMR) Designations, “is held unlawful and set aside as arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law and as without observance of procedure required by law.” The Court found that HUD failed to follow appropriate notice and comment procedure when it attempted to suspend the Small Area FMR designation via memorandum. The Court further found that HUD’s failure to identify “adverse rental housing market conditions local to the particular PHAs as to which HUD delayed the [Small Area FMR] Rule’s implementation” rendered the suspension arbitrary and capricious.
CLPHA will be doing further analysis of this decision and will provide more information shortly.
We have also had conversations with HUD leadership on how the implementation of this decision will proceed. We are currently scheduling a meeting with HUD to discuss these issues and will keep you informed.