Today, LDF called on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to strengthen tools to assist localities in overcoming residential segregation.
Housing segregation and discrimination still exists in countless jurisdictions around the nation, with extremely negative consequences. In The Making of Ferguson, Richard Rothstein powerfully describes how decades of federal, state and local housing policies created and maintained the racially segregated conditions affecting Ferguson, Missouri today.
In July 2013, HUD issued a proposed rule to clarify the fair housing obligations of HUD programs and municipalities and other recipients of federal housing funds under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. This revised rule provides an unprecedented opportunity for localities—with the help of the communities they serve—to identify and address the myriad forces contributing to residential segregation.
Under the new rule, jurisdictions will be required to “tak[e] proactive steps beyond simply combating discrimination to foster more inclusive communities and access to community assets for all persons protected by the Fair Housing Act.” LDF submitted comments and is awaiting issuance of the final rule.
Recently, HUD asked for public comment on the proposed Assessment Tool to be used by localities as they “take proactive steps to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.”
In comments, LDF suggested that HUD require localities to take specific actions to address segregation, increase public participation in local plans to promote integration, analyze all available measures of segregation, and ensure that public housing programs are part of the equation. “LDF strongly supports HUD’s laudable efforts to strengthen compliance by programs and funding recipients subject to the affirmatively furthering fair housing requirement of the Fair Housing Act. We encourage the adoption of our recommendations for revisions to the Assessment Tool in order to ensure that the goals of this core provision of the Fair Housing Act are finally realized.”