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A New Way To De-Segregate Housing In America47:22Download

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With guest host Jane Clayson.

The Obama Administration just announced controversial rules to address segregation, almost fifty years after the Fair Housing Act. Critics call it “social engineering.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, speaks at a news conference Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Chicago where Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announces a policy change. The new rules provide guidance to help cities achieve the promises of the 1968 Fair Housing Act by promoting racially integrated neighborhoods. (AP)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, left, speaks at a news conference Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Chicago where Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announces a policy change. The new rules provide guidance to help cities achieve the promises of the 1968 Fair Housing Act by promoting racially integrated neighborhoods. (AP)

Many low income neighborhoods in American cities are almost 100 percent minority. The 1968 Fair Housing Act was supposed to set us on a new course. It failed. Now, the Obama administration has stepped in, saying that the status quo is no longer acceptable, and that the government needs to take on a bigger role in ending de facto segregation. Some people call president Obama’s new rules “social engineering.  Others say they’re past due. This hour, On Point: we look at new rules to fight an old battle, persistent segregation in America’s neighborhoods.
-- Jane Clayson

Guests

Emily Badger, reporter covering urban policy at the Washington Post. (@emilymbadger)

MaryAnn Russ, president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority. Former assistant deputy secretary in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sheryll Cashin, professor of law at Georgetown University. Author of "Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America" (@sheryllcashin)

Edward Pinto, resident fellow and codirector of the International Center on Housing Risk at the American Enterprise Institute. (@epintoaei)

From The Reading List

WBEZ: Obama administration announces new housing segregation rules -- "The nation's head of urban housing policy announced new regulations Wednesday aimed at fulfilling promises of the 1968 Fair Housing Act by promoting racially integrated neighborhoods. 'The truth is for too long federal efforts have often fallen short,' Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said at a news conference next to new public housing apartments and a playground on Chicago's South Side."

Washington Post: America can’t talk about segregation today if we can’t say how it was created in the past -- "Black family wealth is a fraction of white wealth in America today, a pattern that descends directly from the era when blacks could not obtain mortgages. Blacks remain heavily segregated, as Gurian suggests, in the same neighborhoods where they were segregated 50 years ago because housing policies made it incredibly hard to leave them."

Dallas Morning News: Supreme Court kills Texas’ segregated housing formula — "Nowhere are the effects of such decisions more evident than in Dallas, where tax-credit housing projects have, for decades, been concentrated south of Interstate 30 and the Trinity River. Cheap land in this part of the city helped developers stay within their budgets and maximize profits. As Inclusive Communities has demonstrated in court, the cheapest land tends to be in areas where crime is high or where property has been environmentally tainted by lead smelters or other industrial polluters. The state’s tax-credit system effectively forced poor people to live in neighborhoods with poor schools and criminal or environmental dangers."

This program aired on July 13, 2015.

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