Ben Carson and the future of HUD: The nomination of a HUD Secretary with no experience in housing has sparked serious concerns about potential shredding of the social safety net for millions of families and children who cannot afford housing in the private market, and the potential defunding of HUD’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. Carson’s lack of knowledge about fair housing is exemplified by his overheated statements equating the AFFH rule to “social engineering”, “communism,” and “forced busing.” He fails to understand that the final rule was the result of years of careful development, compromise and vetting with mayors and the public housing industry – at the end of the day, we have a balanced rule that promotes access to opportunity through both mobility and reinvestment strategies. In any event, HUD and its grantees are still required to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing by the Fair Housing Act and other laws, and we hope that Dr. Carson and his staff will figure this out before the confirmation hearings. All of our civil rights allies have joined us in expressing serious concerns about the HUD nominee’s experience and his perspective on fair housing. See for example recent statements from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Lawyers Committee, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
In the new Poverty & Race: our December issue (mailing today) includes powerful new content on policing and public health (Sewell), resilient youth (Deluca, Clampet-Lundquist and Edin), public schools’ role in addressing childhood trauma (Persyn), reflections on Gautreaux at 50 (Polikoff), implicit bias and neighborhood safety initiatives (Godsil and MacFarlane) and an introductory essay on the new political order from our Board Chair, Olati Johnson – read the issue here first.
Philanthropy under attack: one of PRRAC’s funders, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has been under attack from right wing media outlets for their courageous work advancing racial justice. This week, we are proud to be joining hundreds of activists from across the country at the foundation’s “Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Summit,” and we joined in this statement of support with our national partners in this work.