Strength in Diversity Act advanced in House vote! In a historic vote on Tuesday, the House passed the Strength in Diversity Act, authorizing a competitive grants program for local school districts (and states) to plan and implement school diversity initiatives. The Strength in Diversity Act would authorize a program similar to the Obama administration’s “Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities” program, which was unceremoniously canceled by Education Secretary Betsy Devos in 2017. The bill has been a key priority of the National Coalition on School Diversity, and we are grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Congressman Bobby Scott, and Senator Chris Murphy in their efforts to put this issue back on the legislative agenda. In an unusual display of bipartisanship, 21 Republican House members voted in support of the bill, enhancing its prospects next year in the Senate. See the final Bill here, and the eloquent House Report here. See also NCSD’s timeline of the four-year course of this proposed legislation.
(Also, on Wednesday, the House passed another historic bill, the Equity and Inclusion Act, which, if passed by a future House and Senate, would restore judicially-enforceable disparate impact liability under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, reversing the infamous 2001 Sandoval case!)
Reflections on targeted universalism and next steps for racial justice movement: Check out these interesting excerpts from our wide-ranging summer interview with john a. powell, moderated by Anika Singh Lemar in cooperation with the Open Communities Alliance.
Support LGBTQ+ Equal Access Rule: In the midst of a global pandemic, HUD has proposed an anti-LGBTQ+ rule that would in effect override current civil rights protections and limit access to life-saving shelter for transgendered people experiencing housing instability. It is important that HUD hear from as many people as possible about how unacceptable they find this prejudiced proposed rule. To learn more or leave a comment for HUD, please visit the Alliance for Housing Justice’s Housing Saves Lives webpage (comments due by Tuesday).
Implementing the CDC Eviction Moratorium: The Movement Law Lab, the Housing Justice Network and the National Housing Law Project are hosting a training for tenant lawyers and organizers today on legal strategies and tactics to prevent and defend people against evictions using the recent Eviction Moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Friday, September 18, 2020, 2 pm-3:30pm EST/11 am-12:30pm PST, Click here to register.
Ideas for future housing policy? The Center for Community Change’s “Housing Playbook Project” is soliciting housing policy ideas for a future administration – especially from housing activists and grassroots groups. Please take a moment to fill out this short survey form which will help inform their work.
New LIHTC resource: Freddie Mac and the National Housing Trust have just completed a 50-state survey of “opportunity incentives” in state Qualified Allocation plans. This new resource supplements PRRAC’s 2008 and 2015 50-state surveys and demonstrates the continuing expansion of incentives to locate Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties in lower-poverty areas. Yet, as we have pointed out, opportunity incentives are often outweighed by other incentives and requirements in state QAPs, and each state’s fair housing performance must be measured by its outcomes in meaningfully expanding housing choices for families with children.
Redlining and health: This new study from NCRC and researchers at the University of Wisconsin documents the enduring health impacts of intentional government segregation in the 20th century. In collaboration with the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond.