HUD to detail the racial diversity of every neighborhood in America as part of proposed new ‘fair housing’ rule
- Meant to bring the Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968, into the 21st century
- Will help residents, planners and investors target opportunities for growth, advancement and investment
By Ryan Gorman PUBLISHED: 22 July 2013
As part of a proposed rule, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), would provide detailed demographic information on every single neighborhood in the country in an attempt to get a better understanding of segregation, integration and poverty, the agency said.
This racial mapping will be done as part of the new Fair Housing rule proposed by the agency.
By disseminating this information, HUD believes the original Fair Housing Act, signed into law in 1968, will be modernized for the 21st century, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a recent speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
This inequality comes from real estate agents showing fewer available properties to minorities than to equally qualified whites, Donovan explained, adding that ‘because of the subtle nature of this discrimination, often times, they don’t even know they have been subjected to this abuse.’
The best way to combat this problem, said Donovan, is through a neighborhood mapping tool the agency will create that will provide information on jobs, schools and transportation.
The agency believes the map will help ‘expand access to high opportunity neighborhoods and draw attention to investment possibilities in under-served communities,’ Donovan continued.
The maps will allow planners and residents to view ‘data on patterns of integration and segregation, racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty,’ as well as ‘data on individuals with disabilities and families with children, and discrimination,’ according to the rule proposal.
HUD will also further step up fair housing enforcement. In the past three over $54million in compensation has been awarded to 25,000 people who were wrongly discriminated against as a result of enforcement actions, Donovan noted.
Calling this a ‘big deal,’ Donovan added that ‘With the HUD budget alone, we are talking about billions of dollars. And as you know, decades ago, these funds were used to support discrimination. Now, they will be used to expand opportunity and bring communities closer to the American Dream.’
With half of all African-American household wealth in the U.S. wiped out in the four years before President Barack Obama took office, Donovan said, quoting a Pew Research study, the agency has its work cut out.
Donovan, though, remains optimistic, saying ‘we will continue to in order to strengthen this work in the months and years ahead to bring Fair Housing into the 21st century