Progress on fair housing planning: HUD took another step forward in the planned release of a new rule clarifying the Fair Housing Act’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” obligation for state and local government recipients of HUD funding. This latest step is a draft assessment form for jurisdictions to use to analyze local patterns of segregation in HUD programs and disparities in access to opportunity for different racial and ethnic groups, using HUD-supplied data. The improved reporting requirements will force communities to confront these issues, and will give the public more information about how their federal funds are being spent. Improvement is still needed in several key sections of the draft, to promote strong community participation and identify action steps that state and local agencies will take to address identified problems. Here are links to the draft assessment tool and notice and request for comment in the Federal Register. Feel free to send us your thoughts, as we will be submitting detailed comments soon.
Progress on affirmative marketing: HUD has issued a revised guidance on affirmative marketing for HUD-assisted multifamily properties that clarifies reporting requirements for owners. The new notice is responsive to concerns about discriminatory local residency preferences expressed by PRRAC and our coalition partners in comments last year. The new guidance requires resubmission to HUD of any admissions plan that includes a residency preference, and indicates that residency preferences will be approved “only when they further the goals of affirmative marketing.”
Intradistrict resource disparities: The Department of Education has issued a comprehensive Title VI guidance on assessing the racial impacts of disparities in key educational resources (school funding, advanced courses, experienced teachers, school facilities, instructional materials and technology, and extracurricular opportunities) across schools within a school district. In the footnotes, the Department also acknowledges the importance of assessing racial disparities across school districts within a state, and the impact of racial isolation and concentrated poverty on student opportunity — we hope these topics will also be the subject of future Title VI guidance!
Hidden civil rights history: Chester Hartman documents a 1952 cross burning in Harvard Yard, and suggests that the university make a public acknowledgment or apology – published in the Harvard Crimson.
Other resources and upcoming events
Housing Mobility Webinar – Wednesday, October 22, 2014 @ 2:00-4:00 PM Eastern Time, hosted by the National Fair Housing Alliance Mobility Committee – with Alexander Polikoff, Steve Norman, Barbara Samuels, and Phil Tegeler. Free registration here.
“Farmworker Housing Quality and Health: A Transdisciplinary Conference” will take place on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA. Sponsored by California Rural Legal Assistance, the Center for Worker Health at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Farmworker Justice. Details and registration here.
“Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls,” a new report from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Women’s Law Center, with a focus on barriers to advancement in K-12 education