The Opportunity Agenda recently issued Realizing the Promise: How to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. The report begins with background on the origins of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the obligation to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH). The report notes that AFFH has “never been fully or consistently implemented or enforced,” describing the consequences. However, the AFFH regulations proposed in July 2013 offer potential means to more effectively affirmatively further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act.
Realizing the Promise describes classic fair housing mobility efforts such as: the Chicago Gautreaux mobility program that began in the 1960s; HUD’s Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing (MTO) demonstration program in the 1990s; and the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program arising from the HOPE VI program’s demolition of public housing in the mid-‘90s. Also described are the positive efforts beginning in the 1960s of Oak Park Illinois to promote a market-based model of racial integration, and in contrast the ongoing aggressive resistance of Westchester County, NY to comply with the law’s requirement to AFFH. Inclusive development efforts from the 1970s are summarized, such as the State of New Jersey’s Mount Laurel doctrine and Montgomery County, Maryland’s inclusionary zoning program.
To improve fair housing, Realizing the Promise recommends a variety of policy improvements, such as inclusionary zoning, community land trusts, equitable distribution of natural disaster relief, mobility counseling, better affirmative marketing strategies, more sensible policies relating to drug use, and local ordinances that prohibit discrimination based on source of income, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Realizing the Promise: How to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing is available at http://opportunityagenda.org/realizing-the-promise