Reflections on the Past, Looking to the Future:  The Fair Housing Act at 40


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Reflections on the Past, Looking to the Future:  The Fair Housing Act at 40

  1. 1. Reflections on the Past, Looking to the Future:  The Fair Housing Act at 40 john a. powell Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity & Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Moritz College of Law
  2. 2. Have we achieved fair housing? <ul><li>African American homeownership growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>…but continuing residential segregation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>African American suburban growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>…but suburban poverty climbing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Steering/discrimination dropping </li></ul><ul><ul><li>…but still significant </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Challenges & consequences <ul><li>FHA’s anti-discrimination orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Bellwood v. Dwivedi </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusionary zoning & localism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arlington Heights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Segregated housing -> segregated schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Milliken v Bradley </li></ul></ul>
  4. 6. Integration vs. Desegregation <ul><li>“ The word segregation represents a system that is prohibitive; it denies the Negro equal access to schools, parks, restaurants, libraries and the like. Desegregation is eliminative and negative...” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Integration is creative, and is therefore more profound and far-reaching than desegregation. Integration is the positive acceptance of desegregation...” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Integration is genuine intergroup, interpersonal doing. Desegregation then, rightly, is only a short-range goal. Integration is the ultimate goal of our national community.” </li></ul>Source: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “The Ethical Demands of Integration.” December 27, 1962.
  5. 7. True Integration <ul><li>Creative and respective of inter-group relations based on mutuality, equality and fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Transformative rather than assimilative </li></ul><ul><li>(cf. desegregation, at best, attempts to assimilate “minorities” into the mainstream) </li></ul>
  6. 8. Integration into Opportunity <ul><li>Segregation is more than just the physical isolation of people </li></ul><ul><li>Segregation is isolation from opportunity or opportunity structures </li></ul><ul><li>Integration into opportunity </li></ul>
  7. 9. LIHTC <ul><li>State-by-state administration </li></ul><ul><li>Variation in placements </li></ul><ul><li>Across all U.S. large metro areas between 1995-2003, only 22% of LIHTC units in low-poverty neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>Is LIHTC providing access to opportunity? </li></ul><ul><li>LIHTC not required to report racial and ethnic data of occupants </li></ul>
  8. 10. New Threats: Predatory Lending & Foreclosure <ul><li>The result of the sub-prime & foreclosure crisis in the US may significantly erode fair housing gains and further isolate inner city neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 million foreclosures expected in the next two years </li></ul></ul>Source: United for a Fair Economy
  9. 11. The Miner’s Canary… <ul><ul><li>Nationwide, nearly 55% of all high cost loans went to African American borrowers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts estimate that the loss in home equity to African American and Latino homeowners will exceed a quarter of trillion dollars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct asset loss (foreclosure) and loss in home value due to the geographic concentration of foreclosures in minority neighborhoods </li></ul></ul>
  10. 12. 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...
  11. 13. Predatory Lending and Race: Cleveland, OH Maps produced and adapted from Charles Bromley, SAGES Presidential Fellow, Case Western University
  12. 14. Foreclosure and Race: Cleveland, OH
  13. 15. Communities of Opportunity <ul><li>Everyone should have fair access to the critical opportunity structures needed to succeed in life </li></ul><ul><li>Low Opportunity neighborhoods limit the development of human capital </li></ul><ul><li>A Community of Opportunity approach can develop pathways that result in increased social and economic health, benefiting everyone </li></ul>
  14. 16. Thompson v. HUD : Proposed remedy <ul><ul><li>Submitted expert reports in both the liability and the remedy phases of the litigation, on behalf of plaintiffs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used GIS to analyze current conditions of segregated public housing (liability phase) and frame solutions for desegregation (remedy phase) in a regional context </li></ul></ul>
  15. 17. Baltimore: Challenges continue….