School and Housing Integration: Come to PRRAC’s offices for a lunchtime (brownbag) book talk on Thursday, July 21 by Professor Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, whose new book, When the Fences Come Down: Twenty-First-Century Lessons from Metropolitan School Desegregation, looks at the reciprocal dynamics of housing and school segregation, and how they might be disrupted. To let us know you’re coming, please register here.
Professor Siegel-Hawley is also testifying at a July 12th Congressional Hearing on school integration, along with Phil Tegeler of PRRAC, Kristin Clarke of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and several other active members of the National Coalition on School Diversity. July 12, 2:00-4:00 at theU.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room HVC-210.
Questions and answers on HUD’s new “Small Area FMR” proposal: What are the fair housing issues that led HUD to make this change in the way rents are set in the Housing Choice Voucher program? How will the new rule affect your region? How are the mandatory SAFMR regions calculated? What does it mean that other public housing agencies can “opt in”? What will the impact be on existing tenants? What improvements are advocates recommending in upcoming public comments on the rule? How can you help? Join us for a 90 minute webinar, sponsored by the National Fair Housing Alliance, PRRAC, the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition – Monday July 25 at 1:00 eastern ( sign up here).
More Housing Choice Voucher Reforms : Following up on last month’s proposed rule for Small Area FMRs, HUD has released a proposed rule changing the way the Section 8 “Administrative Fees” are calculated. Section 8 Administrative Fees are the per-voucher payments that HUD makes to public housing agencies to defray the administrative costs of running the voucher program. Advocates and researchers who follow the civil rights impacts of HUD programs have long been critical of the ways in which the current administrative fee system incentivizes segregation (see for example our comments at pages 10-11 of our 2013 review of the Obama Administration’s first four years at HUD). The proposed reforms to the administrative fee rule, released this week, rely on a recent Abt Associates study of actual PHA costs to estimate administrative fee payments more accurately. Although the proposed rule does not directly address the segregation incentives inherent in the administrative fee system, HUD has responded to civil rights concerns by requesting input on how the forthcoming rule can be adjusted to reward PHAs for positive results in expanding housing opportunities for voucher families. Comments are due October 4th.
EPA stumbles on environmental justice: A New York Times editorial this week highlights lengthy delays at the EPA’s Office of Civil Rights, and the agency’s release of a five year plan on environmental justice. PRRAC is part of an active coalition with EarthJustice and other groups that has been advocating for these reforms at EPA.
PRRAC is hiring: We are seeking an innovative, enthusiastic, and committed Communications and Partnerships Manager to provide vision and leadership to PRRAC in developing and implementing the strategies, messages, and materials that promote PRRAC as a valuable systemic change agent and a leading expert on issues related to housing and school integration policy, transportation equity, and environmental justice. The Communications and Partnerships Manager will be responsible for a wide range of long-term and day-to-day media, narrative change, and outreach work. See our job listing here