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Communities of Opportunity: Reporting on Fair Housing, Opportunity and Equity
 

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Communities of Opportunity: Reporting on Fair Housing, Opportunity and Equity Communities of Opportunity: Reporting on Fair Housing, Opportunity and Equity Presentation Transcript

  • Communities of Opportunity: Reporting on Fair Housing, Opportunity and Equity Presentation to the New York Press Association Spring Convention 2008, Albany NY Jason Reece, AICP Senior Researcher [email_address] The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity The Ohio State University April 4 th 2008
  • About the Institute
    • Founded in 2003 at The Ohio State University
      • Under the leadership of john a. powell, a national expert on issues of race, class, poverty, civil rights and housing
      • Interdisciplinary and externally focused
      • Working on projects at both the local, national and international level
      • One of the largest race research centers in the nation
        • More than 30+ staff
  • Discussion Points
    • Access to Opportunity Matters
      • Race, poverty, place and inequity
    • Housing: Our Link to Opportunity
    • Reflecting on the 40 th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act
      • Have we achieved “fair” housing?
    • New and future challenges
      • Reflecting on equity and social justice issues that need more public discourse and exposure
  • Opportunity Matters Race, Poverty, Place and Inequity
  • Neighborhoods and Access to Opportunity
    • Five decades of research indicate that your environment has a profound impact on your access to opportunity and likelihood of success
    • Impoverished Blacks and Latinos are far more likely to live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty
      • These high poverty environments create deplorable living conditions and are a manifestation of living isolated from opportunity
  • The Cumulative Impacts of Spatial, Racial and Opportunity Segregation Neighborhood Segregation School Segregation Racial stigma, other psychological impacts Job segregation Impacts on community power and individual assets Impacts on Educational Achievement Exposure to crime; arrest Transportation limitations and other inequitable public services Adapted from figure by Barbara Reskin at: http://faculty.washington.edu/reskin/ Segregation impacts a number of life-opportunities Impacts on Health
  • Housing location determines access to schools….
  • jobs…
  • neighborhood amenities…
  • The Impact of Place: Qualitative Research from the MTO Program
    • Reflections on living in a low opportunity community
      • "It was like being in a war zone. It was really bad...A lot of drug dealings. Shoot-outs. Girls getting beat up by their boyfriends. Young girls…Everybody has such low self-esteem and no regard for each other. Nobody looked out for each other. It was horrible.“
    • Impact of moving to opportunity:
      • "I just got promoted to a higher position...Moving has done wonderful things for me and my family. It has given me an outlook on things that I'm surrounded by. Better neighborhood, better schools for my kids, a better job, great things for me."
      • "It gave me a better outlook on life, that there is a life outside of that housing."
  • Racial Segregation, Opportunity Segregation and Racial Disparities
    • Housing policies, discrimination, land use policy and patterns of regional investment and disinvestment converge to produce continued racial segregation in our society
      • Producing a racial isolation in neighborhoods that are lacking the essential opportunities to advance in our society (fueling racial disparities)
  • Who Lives in Concentrated Poverty Neighborhoods?
    • Over 3.1 million African Americans lived in Concentrated Poverty Neighborhoods in 2000, Blacks and Latinos represent nearly 3 out of 4 residents in these neighborhoods
    • Nearly 1 out of 10 Blacks lived in a concentrated poverty neighborhood in 1999, compared to 1 out of 100 Whites
    • Whites only make 30% of people living in high poverty neighborhoods, although they represent 55% of the total population living in poverty
  • Segregation from Opportunity: Neighborhood Poverty
    • In New York’s largest metropolitan areas, African Americans & Latinos live in neighborhoods with 2 to 3 times the poverty rate experienced in White Neighborhoods
  • Neighborhood Conditions and Race: A Case Study Mapping Neighborhood Opportunities & African American Males in Seven Metros
    • Education Indicators
      • Student poverty rates, test scores, student teacher ratios
    • Economic Indicators
      • Job access, unemployment, job trends
    • Neighborhood Quality
      • Vacant and abandoned properties, crime rates, neighborhood poverty rates
  • Washington DC Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • Los Angeles Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • New York Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • Detroit Metro Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • Housing: Our Link to Communities of Opportunity Location, Location, Location
  • Place and Life Outcomes
    • Housing, in particular its location, is the primary mechanism for accessing opportunity in our society
      • For those living in high poverty neighborhoods these factors can significantly inhibit life outcomes
      • Individual characteristics still matter but so does environment
        • Environment can impact individual decision making
    Fiscal Policies Housing Childcare Employment Education Health Transportation Effective Participation
  • Housing: Location, Location, Location
    • Housing location determines (some examples)
      • The appreciation you can expect to see in your home value
      • The quality of schools your children will attend
      • Your exposure to crime, violence and public safety risk
      • Your access to employment, transit and job networks
    • Where you live is more important than what you live in
  • Housing and Wealth
    • Housing is critical to building assets and wealth in the US
      • Racial disparities in wealth are far more pronounced than disparities in income
      • Wealth and assets are what we use to buy opportunity and it allows us to take risk which also creates new wealth
  • Home Ownership & Wealth
    • Home Equity
      • Home equity is often the largest component of the average American family’s wealth
      • It accounts for 75% of the assets held by the median household in the U.S.
      • It has been critical in the growth of the middle class throughout the U.S. following World War II
    • Unequal Access to Home Equity
      • A legacy of historical discrimination in lending and access to home ownership, the cost of living in segregated communities and discontinued discrimination in the housing market have prevented families of color from accessing the wealth potential of home equity
  • The Racial Wealth Gap
  • Housing and Education 50 years after the Brown Decision, America’s schools have re-segregated into affluent white districts and poor under-funded African American and Hispanic districts Housing Discrimination Produces Dysfunctional Schools Segregation
  • Cycle of School Segregation Lower Educational Outcomes for Urban School Districts Increased Flight of Affluent Families from Urban Areas Neighborhood (Housing) Segregation School Segregation (Economic)
  • Sprawl and Disinvestment in Urban Communities
    • Decades of suburban flight have drained low income inner city neighborhoods of people, business and investment
    • High vacancy rates and poor investment harms the quality of life for inner city residents and limits the resources (tax base) for low income communities
    • Jobs have moved away from the labor pool in many metropolitan areas, making connecting job-seekers with jobs a challenge (compounded by poor public transportation)
      • Public investment disproportionately favors highways over public transportation; public transportation can not access most suburban job sites
    Sprawl, Inequity and Economic Opportunity
  • Neighborhood Conditions and Race: A Case Study Mapping Neighborhood Opportunities & African American Males in Seven Metros
    • Education Indicators
      • Student poverty rates, test scores, student teacher ratios
    • Economic Indicators
      • Job access, unemployment, job trends
    • Neighborhood Quality
      • Vacant and abandoned properties, crime rates, neighborhood poverty rates
  • Washington DC Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • Los Angeles Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • New York Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • Detroit Metro Area Neighborhood Opportunity Ranking and African American Males
  • Findings
    • 2 out of 3 African American males in the seven metropolitan areas were found in low opportunity communities
      • Compared to 1 out 5 White males
  • Reflecting on the 40 th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act Have we Achieved Fair Housing?
  • The Significance of the Fair Housing Act
    • Signed into law by President Johnson on April 11 th 1968
      • Direct result of the tremendous efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King in opening up segregated communities (Bill passage tied directly to Dr. King’s assassination on April 4th)
    • Places significant limitations on housing discrimination in the private market
    • Places burden on the government to “affirmatively further fair housing”
      • A critical provision in cases challenging the actions of public housing authorities
  • Have we Achieved Fair Housing?
    • Progress but no victory yet
      • Homeownership increases
      • Slight decline in segregation but still very prevalent
      • Decline in incidence of housing discrimination but still prevalent
      • Isolation from opportunity?
    • New challenges in the future
      • Sub-prime lending and foreclosure
  • National Trends: Home Ownership
  • Fair Housing = Integration
  • Racial Disparity in Households Impacted by Housing Problems: New York State 2000 Source: US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development
  • Barriers to Fair Housing: The Web of Housing Challenges Housing Challenges Subsidized Housing Policies Discriminatory And Unfair Lending A Housing Market That Does Not Serve the Population Racial Steering And Discrimination Exclusionary Zoning
  • New Threats: The Sub-Prime and Foreclosure Challenge
    • The result of the sub-prime & foreclosure crisis in the US may significantly erode fair housing gains and further isolate inner city neighborhoods
      • 2 million foreclosures expected in the next two years
      • Nationwide, nearly 55% of all high cost loans went to African American borrowers
      • Experts estimate that the loss in home equity to African American and Latino homeowners will exceed a quarter of trillion dollars
        • Why, direct asset loss (foreclosure) and loss in home value due to the geographic concentration of foreclosures in minority neighborhoods
    Source: United for a Fair Economy
  • What’s Missing in the Media: Thinking of Race as the “Miners Canary”
    • The “Miner’s Canary” metaphor
      • Disparities facing communities of color are indicators of larger impending societal challenges
    • Example: Race and predatory lending, which contributed to the subprime debacle
        • Threatening the entire US economy
  • Capital Market ‘Credit crunch’ Affected neighborhoods are being reduced to ‘ghost towns’ Reduced spending and retail flight Families lose their homes, wealth and safety Banks, police and courts saddled with foreclosures SUBPRIME LENDING: We didn’t care about the canary...
  • Predatory Lending and Race: Example (Cleveland) Maps: Produced and adapted from Charles Bromley, SAGES Presidential Fellow, Case Western University
  • Predatory Lending, Foreclosure and Race: Example (Cleveland)
  • Our Linked Fates Understanding the Impact of our Racial, Social and Geographic Inequities
  • Our Future
    • Our economic future is dependent on our most plentiful natural resource, human capacity and innovation .
    • Without addressing the social, racial and interregional inequities facing our nation, the future of the entire nation is compromised
  • Inequities Impact Everyone
    • Isolation from opportunity results in lost productive and creative capacity, depriving regions the ability to compete and innovate
    • Inequities create artificial impediments to economic development and affordable housing
    • Disparities drive sprawling physical growth without job or population growth
    • All of this can ultimately harm the quality of life for all residents
  • So what about the canary…why care about equity and inclusion?
      • To thrive, regions must be competitive in the global economy
        • Inequality is a sign of an economically & socially inefficient region, where much of the population can not meet its creative potential
        • These disparities make the region less competitive, nationally and globally
  • Solutions An Opportunity Oriented Model of Racial and Social Justice
  • A Transformative Agenda: Achieving Equity through an Opportunity Based Model of Social Justice
    • Everyone should have fair access to the critical opportunity structures needed to succeed in life
    • Low Opportunity neighborhoods limit the development of human capital
    • A Community of Opportunity approach can develop pathways that result in increased social and economic health, benefiting everyone
  • An opportunity based approach
    • Strategies for connecting to opportunity:
      • A people-focused approach that gives families more choice in where to live and go to school
      • An in-place strategy that seeks to bring investment and resources into distressed communities
      • A linkages approach that connects low-income neighborhoods and residents to opportunity through improved transportation and social or business networking
  • An Opportunity Based Housing Policy
    • Affordable housing must be deliberately and intelligently connected to high performing schools, sustainable employment, necessary transportation infrastructure, childcare, and institutions that facilitate civic and political activity
  • Concluding Thoughts: Themes That Need More Public Exposure and Discussion
    • Place matters: understanding how neighborhoods-environments contribute to our well-being
    • More discussion on the broader universal impacts of racial/social/geographic disparity in our society
    • Lifting up activities and initiatives that bring opportunity to distressed areas
      • Exploring cases of community revitalization that do not result in gentrification
    • More reflection on the importance of fair housing (reflecting on the 40 th anniversary of the Act)
      • The broader social & racial implications of the subprime lending & foreclosure crisis
  • Questions or Comments? For More Information Visit Us On-Line: www.KirwanInstitute.org