Justice in Minneapolis: We are thankful that the justice system worked this time, and we hope it brings some sense of closure to George Floyd’s family and community. As so many have pointed out in these last few days, there is much more work to do to. We are still living within the structures and legacies of the justice system described by Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow and the rules of law described by Richard Rothstein in The Color of Law. We have a long way to go to dismantling and transforming these systems.
Housing mobility in the President’s budget: In addition to a significant expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher program, the President’s initial 2022 budget sent to Congress includes “funding for mobility-related supportive services to provide low-income families who live in racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty with greater options to move to higher-opportunity neighborhoods.” This is precisely what experience and research have shown are necessary to provide real fair housing choice for families, and we have met with many PHAs that want to do this work. We are hopeful that Congress will follow suit!
The National Housing Trust Fund has just doubled in size this year, and the program could expand even further if President Biden’s infrastructure plan is approved in whole or in part. But as we have previously pointed out, the program needs stronger civil rights guidelines to effectively redress the history of segregation in federal housing programs. Our latest policy brief builds on a 50-state survey to identify best practices at state HFAs and recommendations for HUD as the program expands.
Talking Strength in Diversity: Last week, we joined the Century Foundation’s Bridges Collaborative and the National Coalition on School Diversity in a conversation with Congressman Mondaire Jones from Westchester County, the lead co-sponsor of the Strength in Diversity Act in the House. Worth watching!
Another state bans source of income discrimination: Congratulations to South Coast Fair Housing and their coalition allies for helping to pass a new source of income discrimination law in Rhode Island! South Coast’s 2019 study had indicated that voucher discrimination effectively reduced housing options for Housing Choice Voucher families to less than a quarter of the housing units that fell within voucher payment standards.
Update on the Folded Map project: This innovative community-based effort to reconnect Chicago’s divided neighborhoods, which we first reported on here in 2018 has been growing in ambition and imagination ever since – visit the project’s website here. Plus Housing Choice Partners is sponsoring a screening of the Folded Map Project film and discussion with artist Tonika Lewis Johnson, on Thursday, April 29th from 1pm-2:30pm (central time) – register here.
TCF on exclusionary zoning:A new report from the Century Foundation summarizes findings from a recent expert roundtable on the efficacy and viability of competing federal proposals to rein in exclusionary zoning.
Housing Choice Vouchers: A new policy brief and fact sheet from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities summarizes the evidence and urgency of radically expanding the Housing Choice Voucher program to help lift millions of children out of poverty and dramatically increase housing security.
Systemic racism in Latino communities: UnidosUS’ new report, Toward a More Perfect Union: Understanding Systemic Racism & Resulting Inequity in Latino Communities offers historical examples of systemic racism, and how their effects persist across multiple dimensions of inequality, in housing, education, criminal justice, employment, health, wealth, and voting.