America made a promise in 1968. It's time to keep it, Heather K. Way, CNN, April 10, 2018, available here
On the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act this week, the landmark law's promises to dismantle housing segregation remain unfulfilled and, worse, are under attack by the Trump administration, which has showcased repeatedly its hostility toward opening up housing opportunities for persons of color.
Amid all this, according to a new report, home ownership among African-Americans is as low now as it was when racial discrimination was legal. Meanwhile, the wealth gap between black and white Americans has more than tripled since the passage of the Fair Housing Act.
Ben Carson, HUD's secretary, recently confirmed with lawmakers HUD's delay of a rule requiring local governments that receive HUD funds to create plans that would help desegregate neighborhoods — and many fair housing advocates fear that rule is now on the chopping block. Carson has previously called the rule "social engineering."
Under Carson's watch, HUD has also sought to roll back a policy focused on opening opportunities for low-income renters with federal housing vouchers — who are people of color — to live in safer neighborhoods with better access to strong schools and jobs. A federal court blocked that move.
And then last month, word came out that HUD was striking the promise of inclusive, discrimination-free communities from its mission statement.