Housing mobility in the budget? The House Financial Services Committee held an important hearing on Wednesday that focused largely on the administration’s 2017 budget proposal to support new housing mobility programs at up to ten public housing authorities. This is a crucial step to making housing choice a reality for low income families with Housing Choice Vouchers. The proposed budget item includes an optional preference for families with young children living in high poverty areas – a strong research-based priority that would help thousands of low income children access low poverty, high performing schools.
In other housing mobility news, our “Mobility Works” technical assistance group was highlighted in this article in the “Inside Philanthropy” newsletter, and this Huffington Post article suggests that housing mobility may even be showing up in the presidential campaign:
For more housing mobility news, see the re-launched housing mobility website, www.housingmobility.org. (p.s. the “old federal program” referred to in the Huffington Post article was, of course, the Moving to Opportunity demonstration)
Refining the AFFH process: With our coalition partners, we submitted further advice this week to HUD on improving its assessment tool for cities and towns going through the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing process. Our coalition letter draws from our recent field work in Buffalo, Albuquerque, Hattiesburg, and other cities. HUD is also continuing to refine the AFFH process for states and public housing agencies, which will begin the assessment process in 2017.
Disparate impact, continued: We joined an amicus brief with the ACLU, National Lawyers Committee, and National Fair Housing Alliance, in American Insurance Association v. HUD, a continuing post-ICP v TX insurance industry challenge to the HUD disparate impact rule , now pending in federal court in the District of Columbia . See the brief here.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued its 2016 Statutory Enforcement Report on Environmental Justice. The report highlights EPA’s continuing failure to enforce Title VI, partly due to shortfalls in staff and funding, but also due to administrative policies and the failure to “incorporate environmental justice as a substantive right in its decision-making.” It supports several recommendations made by PRRAC’s environmental justice partners to EPA, such as the need to retain deadlines for administrative enforcement, the need to include affected communities in the settlement process, and the need to “consider the cumulative impact of multiple sources of contamination on a single community when issuing operating permits.”
ERASE Racism-Long Island is looking for a full time coordinator for its educational equity campaign, which seeks to address segregation and unequal conditions in Long Island’s absurdly fragmented educational system.