Back to court with Secretary Carson: Last week, alongside other civil rights groups,* we filed a challenge to HUD’s unlawful suspension of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, on behalf of the National Fair Housing Alliance, Texas Housers, and Texas Appleseed. The suspension would delay implementation of the rule for 5-7 years for over 900 cities and counties – but the plaintiffs have requested a preliminary injunction and we hope to see the AFFH rule reinstated soon. We have posted all of the court papers here, and we’ve also posted the excellent messaging guidance from The Opportunity Agenda from 2015 on why the rule was so important in the first place. See NFHA’s press release for more detail.
Important new research on the democracy benefits of school integration: Schools remain one of the few social institutions that have the potential to bring youth together across racial and ethnic lines. New social science research demonstrates the importance of fostering sustained interracial contact between youth in order to prepare them to thrive in a multiracial society. This brief aims to summarize much of this new evidence, with special attention to its practical implications for the social relations and contexts within schools. Read the newest Research Brief from the National Coalition on School Diversity, “Re-Weaving the Social Fabric through Integrated Schools: How Intergroup Contact Prepares Youth to Thrive in a Multiracial Society.”
News Flash! Civil rights coalition in New Jersey brings statewide school desegregation case under the NJ state constitution – read about it in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer.
Housing mobility advances in Congress: The House Appropriations subcommittee that develops the HUD budget released a draft budget bill that includes a bipartisan proposal for a $50 million housing mobility initiative for the Housing Choice Voucher program, with special provisions for families with young children. The bill was favorably reported to the full Appropriations Committee yesterday afternoon. Read more about the bill in this Center on Budget and Policy Priorities summary. And remember to save the date for the 7th National Housing Mobility Conference, October 16-17 in Washington, DC (details coming soon).
Effective implementation of Small Area FMRs: Best practices for both mandatory implementation and voluntary adoption of the new Housing Choice Voucher rent structures are covered in this new guide for PHAs from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and PRRAC.
Fair housing and proximate cause: PRRAC joined several other civil rights groups in an amicus curiae brief in City of Miami v. Bank of America and Wells Fargo & Co., a case pending in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The case involves the city’s claims that the banks’ lending practices discriminated against persons of color and resulted in concentrated foreclosures in predominantly African American and Latino neighborhoods in Miami, causing a range of harms to the city itself, including the loss of the benefits of an integrated community, as well as diminished property values and tax revenues. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals to determine whether the alleged discriminatory actions by the banks were the “proximate cause” of the harm they allege to have experienced. As Megan Haberle, PRRAC’s Deputy Director, noted in a press release, “Institutions like Wells Fargo don’t make their profits in a vacuum: they have an enormous effect on the communities they are supposed to serve.” A copy of the brief can be found here.
New detailed maps of segregation from the Anti-Discrimination Center and Social Explorer – down to the block group level for every neighborhood in the United States.
Equitable growth in an older industrial city: These recommendations to the mayor and city of Newark are worth reading, from the Center for Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity, Rutgers Law School: Making Newark Work for Newarkers: Housing and Equitable Growth in the Next Brick City (April 2018).
*co-counsel in NFHA v. Carson include the same groups that brought the Open Communities Alliance v Carson Small Area FMR case (Lawyers Committee, NAACP LDF, Public Citizen and Relman Dane and Colfax) plus the ACLU and in-house counsel for NFHA and Texas Appleseed.