Climate change, racial equity, and the candidates: We’ve just released the latest in our series of analyses of civil rights issues in the current presidential campaign, 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Positions on Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Related Housing Issues, which looks at the candidates’ climate change platforms from a racial equity perspective.
Small Area FMRs: Kelly Patterson and Robert Silverman of the University at Buffalo have completed a review of first-year implementation of the HUD Small Area Fair Market Rent rule (adopted in 2016, suspended in 2017, reinstated by litigation, and effective April 2018). One important takeaway of their survey is a troubling trend in a number of PHAs that are using their flexibility in setting “payment standards” to blunt the positive effect of the rule by raising rent caps in low-income neighborhoods and lowering rent caps in higher-income neighborhoods. The report also explores voluntary adoption of “SAFMRs” by looking at the potential in the Buffalo region.
More source of income protection laws: The State of California and Anne Arundel County, Maryland have joined the growing list of states and local governments giving Housing Choice Voucher families protection from discrimination (the California bill is awaiting the governor’s signature). Plus, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected a lower court’s restrictive reading of local home rule powers, reinstating the Pittsburgh source of income discrimination law pending a remand to the lower court (PRRAC and the National Housing Law Project had joined in an amicus brief filed by the Community Justice Project and the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh).