ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel
Politics & Government, Civil Rights

What Should Communities Be Doing To Further Fair Housing?

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 banned housing discrimination and mandated that the government “affirmatively further” fair housing. But the law didn’t make it clear exactly what that meant.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, charged with enforcing the law, has since granted billions of dollars in block grants to communities on the condition that they track obstacles to fair housing and their efforts to overcome them, and prove that they do not discriminate. But HUD has only withheld funding for violations only twice since 1974. Meanwhile, segregation levels have barely budged.

So what should communities be doing to “affirmatively further” fair housing? We asked fair housing experts and readers to weigh in on Quora.

Find excerpts of that discussion below, or visit our discussion page on Quora to tell us what you think.

Setting community goals

Read More from Alan Jenkins, The Opportunity Agenda on Quora

 

Alter the geography of opportunity

Read More from of Elizabeth, Inclusive Communities Project on Quora

 

‘Affordable housing and fair housing are not one in the same’

Read More from Deidre Swesnik, National Fair Housing Alliance on Quora

Read More from Rob Breymaier, Oak Park Regional Housing Center on Quora

 

Models for change

Read More from Mira Tanna, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida on Quora

 

The Real Estate Industry’s Role

Read More of Bruce Feldman's answer on Quora

Read More from Rob Breymaier, Oak Park Regional Housing Center on Quora

 

The Government’s Role

Read More from Elizabeth Julian, Inclusive Communities Project on Quora

 

Read More from Joe Rich,  Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on Quora

 

There is a widely shared consensus that our nation is now characterized by “de-facto” segregation. That term is inaccurate and misleading. Our residential segregation was not created by subtle demographic or economic policies, or by personal choices; it was created by state action. Hannah-Jones has shown how the federal government has refused to reverse these policies, even when specifically ordered by legislative language to do so.

Although the Obama administration has taken some small steps to attack residential segregation, it is inconceivable that much can be done as long as the consensus, shared across the political spectrum, persists that our segregated housing patterns are accidentally “de facto,” caused, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, only by “unknown and perhaps unknowable factors such as in-migration, birth rates, economic changes, or cumulative acts of private racial fears.”

Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute

blog comments powered by Disqus

Projects You Can Help With

.

Meet Our New Comments System – Where You Can Share Your Stories, Too

Learn More

.

Weigh In: Do HIV Laws Protect or Persecute?

Join the discussion

Responses

.

Help Us Investigate Segregation at Secondary Schools

Share A Tip

30 Stories Shared

.

Discussion: Why Medicare Wastes Billions on Name-Brand Drugs

Join the discussion

More on This Investigation

Share Your Six Words on Race and Education in America

Sixty years after the Supreme Court declared an end to “separate but equal” education, many schools have moved back in time, isolating poor black and Latino students in segregated schools. ProPublica investigates Tuscaloosa schools, among most rapidly resegregating in the country.

Segregation Now

In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.

Segregation Now: The Resegregation of America’s Schools

Sixty years after the Supreme Court declared an end to “separate but equal” education, many schools have moved back in time, isolating poor black and Latino students in segregated schools. ProPublica investigates Tuscaloosa schools, among most rapidly resegregating in the country.

Video: Saving Central

Meet Principal Clarence Sutton Jr. as he fights to save his students from the effects of resegregation.

Source Notes for ‘Segregation Now’

Nikole Hannah-Jones spent nearly a year reporting on the resegregation of Southern schools, including more than two months crisscrossing Alabama. Here are her source notes.