HUD Engineers Sweeping Social Program



In a sweeping new American social project proposed by Democrat Shaun Donovan, Secretary of HUD, a new fair-housing regulation will now give people access to better neighborhoods than the ones they currently live in, according to a report by CNS. In a July 16 speech to the NAACP, Donovan said the American Dream still isn’t within equal reach of all communities and, he says, our country doesn’t have enough diversity in  boardrooms, schools, and the nation’s “strongest neighborhoods.”

To facilitate diversity, HUD has developed a ‘mapping tool.’ According to Donovan, “HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class.” Donovan said HUD’s new neighborhood mapping tool, which uses Census data, will “expand access to high opportunity neighborhoods and draw attention to investment possibilities in under-served communities.”

“Make no mistake, this is a big deal,” Donovan said. “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.”

Under the proposed rule, the neighborhood data provided by HUD will be used to evaluate patterns of integration and segregation, racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty, and access to “valuable community assets.” HUD wants to know if existing laws and policies — such as zoning, financing, infrastructure planning and transportation — create, perpetuate or alleviate segregation.

Since the Fair Housing Acts of 1968 and 1988 were passed, the National Association of Realtors has enforced strict adherence to the acts and there are major consequences for non-adherence as seen on the organization’s website. It’s not something realtors take lightly, and in fact, the study of the Fair Housing Acts are always part of an every-two-year continuing education course for realtors. Yet the proposed rule explicitly incorporates fair housing decision-making into existing planning processes and “other decision-making that influences how communities and regions grow and develop.”


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