Fair Housing's New Champions

Fair Housing's New Champions, Editorial Board, New York Times, June 7, 2018, available here

In December, the Federal District Court in Washington wisely blocked that move. Now, Republican and Democratic Congress members are standing up for the principle of economic integration, supporting a House bill that would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development to remove some of the barriers that trap low-income families in impoverished communities, casting long shadows over their lives.

A 2015 Harvard study inspired the legislation. It examined a federally designed experiment involving thousands of families in five large American cities, and found that young children whose families moved during the 1990s from high-poverty housing projects to neighborhoods offering good jobs and schools grew up to be better-educated, more economically successful adults. These moves increased the adult earnings of children in all five cities — a result not seen when other interventions had been studied — and this was true for whites, blacks and Hispanics, for girls as well as for boys. Strikingly, the Harvard researchers found that each year spent in a better neighborhood during childhood increased earnings in adulthood.

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