Students at St. Kate’s are engaging with the WTDN in a variety of classes. Here’s how our students are thinking about the issues related to housing inequality and housing segregation. Their work demonstrates “thinking in progress”.
By Anastasia Rousseau | Fall 2020
The rule President Trump was referring to was an Obama-era program intended to combat racial segregation in suburban housing. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule is part of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that legally requires federal agencies to actively work and address housing discrimination and segregation by taking steps such as reforming local regulations and codes that might have limited the ability of individuals with disabilities to purchase homes or changing rules to accommodate larger families and/or multi-family households, or be a part of Section 8 housing, that authorizes the payment of rental housing assistance on behalf of low-income households. Allowing for larger families to be a part of the housing program will help accommodate, for example, Hispanics families who are more likely to have larger families.
The lack of integration within suburban communities comes, in part, from the legacy of racial covenants, that restricted the ability of people of color to move into particular neighborhoods by claiming those neighborhoods as white spaces.These covenants have helped with community division allowing white communities to accumulate wealth while communities of colors struggle to become homeowners. Statistics show that houses that were racially covenanted are worth more than homes that were not racially covenanted (4). In order for us to dismantle this system that has been oppressing people of color, we must continue to create programs and services that will address these issues. Although racial covenants are illegal and unenforceable today, we continue to find new ways to enforce neighborhood segregation. President Trump repeal of The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule is a modern form of creating segregation within suburban communities.
The Biden Administration is working on creating equal housing rights in America. “The effort comes less than three months after President Biden signed executive orders aimed at increasing racial equity across the nation, including directing the Department of Housing and Urban The Biden Administration to create equal housing rights in America. “The effort comes less than three months after President Biden signed executive orders aimed at increasing racial equity across the nation, including directing the Department of Housing and Urban Development to examine and reverse actions taken by the Trump administration that undermined fair housing principles.” (5)
- Rodricks, Dan. Ben Carson, Donald Trump and the Old Dog Whistles of Housing and Race | COMMENTARY. The Baltimore Sun (Online). Baltimore: Tribune Publishing Company, LLC, 2020.
- Sood, Aradhya and Speagle, William and Ehrman-Solberg, Kevin, Long Shadow of Racial Discrimination: Evidence from Housing Covenants of Minneapolis (September 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3468520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3468520
- Jan, T. (2021, April 13). Trump Gutted Obama-Era Housing Discrimination rules. Biden’s Bringing Them Back. Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/04/13/hud-biden-fair-housing-rules/