The House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee for Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) on March 25 held a remote hearing on “Creating Equitable Communities Through Transportation and Housing.” This was the first hearing of the year for the THUD subcommittee. The hearing addressed the racist history of highway/infrastructure development over historically black and brown neighborhoods and how to create greater job and homeownership opportunities and equitable community development through transportation and housing.
Witnesses included Dorval Carter, president of the Chicago Transit Authority; Steve Kirk, president of Rural Neighborhoods Incorporated; Elizabeth Kneebone, research director for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkley; and Catherine Ross, regents’ professor at the Schools of City and Regional Planning and Civil and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.
The witnesses offered testimony and answered questions on creating equitable and increased access to job opportunities through connected, carefully planned, and affordable housing and transportation. They also responded to inquiries on housing and transportation programs such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Choice Neighborhoods program, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Section 8 vouchers, and more.
In his opening remarks, THUD Chairman David Price (D-NC) described the need for the conversation about equity in housing and transportation development: “The focus on equity in our first hearing is quite deliberate, I assure you. Economic inequality in America has been steadily increasing in the last 30 years, the top 10% of Americans hold roughly 70% of the country’s wealth. Over the same time period middle-class incomes have grown at a slower pace than upper class incomes, so the gap keeps widening.” Chairman Price continued, “Black households in particular fall behind their white counterparts economically. That is the result of the cumulative effects of biases and prejudices that have sometimes actually been embedded in public policies.”
Watch the full hearing and read witness testimonies at: https://bit.ly/39aIRy7