Housing News Roundup: June 29, 2015
New York's Housing Needs Bring Private Development to Public Housing Sites
In search of funds for public housing capital needs and a way to boost below-market housing development, New York City officials will be encouraging private developers to build on public housing sites. Half of the new infill housing will be affordable. The experience of recent market-rate developments that are adjacent to public housing suggest that proximity to public housing is not a substantial deterrent to prospective market-rate residents. Long-time public housing residents may have more concerns about the prospect of a mixed-income area, including a fear of rising costs locally.
Source: New York Times
Why Self-Segregation Is Misleading
A common notion in America is that individuals and families prefer to live in neighborhoods where they are surrounded by people of a similar culture or race. However, this notion is misleading, given the results of a study conducted by University of Illinois at Chicago sociologist, Maria Krysan and other colleagues. Among other results, the study reveals that whites “are not comfortable with more than 20 percent of their neighbors being black, while blacks prefer a 50-50 split and don’t particularly prefer either all-white or all-black neighborhoods.” According to Krysan, blacks’ preference to not live in an all-white neighborhood stems from fear of discrimination and it not “a truly ‘voluntary’ choice.”
Next Up: Eliminating Housing Discrimination for LGBT Community
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on the right to same sex marriage, LGBT community leaders are turning to the issues of legal protections in housing, commerce and other arenas. They face an uphill battle because opponents of anti-discrimination laws argue that people will be forced to go against their religious beliefs. Only 22 states currently bar discrimination based on sexual preference.
Source: New York Times
Economic Apartheid in the United States?
“We’re experiencing racial segregation on a much larger geographical scale than ever before – a kind of economic apartheid,” said former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on his website Sunday, speaking about the United States. Reich contends that discriminatory housing policies have segregated America, but that housing vouchers, tax credits and the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Fair Housing Act are all steps in the right direction. While seeing results may take time, Reich has confidence that policies that allow low-income families to move out of high-poverty areas will improve their chances at economic success later in life.
Source: International Business Times
SCOTUS Ruling Could Boost Neighborhoods
In what has been hailed as an important ruling for civil rights, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the use of “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act of 1968; instead of determining discriminatory housing practices solely based on intent, the actual impact can now be considered. The ruling may make it more difficult to use affordable housing investment as the attempted tool for the revitalization of high-poverty areas, if those areas have a majority-minority population. This limitation is beneficial, according to Myron Orfield, who called the rulling “a victory for true revitalization.”
Source: Next City