The Dream Revisited
Discussion 16: A New Approach to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Discussion 16: A New Approach to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

November 2015

The sixteenth discussion reacts to HUD’s renewed commitment to the new requirement of the Fair Housing Act to “affirmatively further fair housing.”

Essay

  • HUD’s New AFFH Rule: The Importance of the Ground Game

    by Michael Allen

    While the Final Rule is not what many of us had hoped for, it does provide a foundation on which civil rights advocates can build anti-segregation campaigns at the local level. Local capacity-building will require community education and organizing by the national fair housing advocacy organization; financial support from the philanthropic sector; and lawyers prepared to bring enforcement actions. 

Discussants

  • A Call to Action to Embrace and Enforce the AFFH Rule

    by Angela Glover Blackwell

    Today a child born in primarily Black north St. Louis can expect to die 16 years earlier than a child born in an affluent predominantly White suburb just one zip code away. This startling disparity, though not uncommon in many American cities, is a testament to the depth of the problem, and the complexity of the solutions required to address it. That is why the newly-released AFFH Rule is so important. It recognizes that successful housing policy cannot exist in a vacuum; it must be part of a larger vision for connecting residents to opportunity.

  • The Right Target for Fair Housing Advocacy

    by Edward Goetz

    Segregation by income in this country is greatest at the high end of the income distribution, and racial isolation is greatest among whites. The grassroots activism Allen urges should be the sustained advocacy necessary to create opportunities for affordable housing in high-income, predominantly white exclusionary communities. Let’s hope that is where the movement focuses. 

  • The Need for a Balanced Approach to Fair Housing

    by Michael Bodaken, Ellen Lurie Hoffman

    As we reflect upon Michael’s comments about enforcing the AFFH rule, we urge careful consideration of precisely what we are enforcing.  Many fair housing advocates promote mobility policies to help low-income minorities move out of inner cities and resettle in more affluent suburban communities.  Mobility strategies are an indispensable tool for providing opportunity, but they are not sufficient to meet the needs of all residents of distressed urban communities.

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