Urban Fold

Housing Discrimination Not a Thing of the Past

Residential segregation has not gone away since the era of "white flight", says Prof. Thomas J. Sugrue of the University of Pennsylvania. New Census numbers confirm that African-Americans still get shunted into poor neighborhoods.

Sugrue writes about Detroit, in the news recently for its staggering population loss. At the same time, a record number of blacks moved from the city to the suburbs:

"So far, Detroit's black suburbanization has followed a well-trodden path. Those blacks heading outward from Detroit aren't moving to all suburbs equally. Rather, they move into places with older houses, rundown shopping districts and declining tax revenues. Such towns also typically have poorer services and fewer job opportunities than wealthier suburbs - where, despite strong antidiscrimination laws, it is still harder for blacks to find housing."

Full Story: A Dream Still Deferred



Time to Incorporate Fair Housing into Routine Planning

I can no longer keep quiet. It is time for planners to incorporate fair housing into our routine planning and zoning practices and principles. Years ago ads for "Land Use Law and Zoning Digest" used the pitch that if police must know the constitution, why shouldn't planners? Well, there's also no reason for the planning profession to so determinedly refuse to incorporate fair housing into our planning principles and practices. It's not difficult as we've pointed out what cities and counties can do -- just see the Analyses of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) that we an other consultants have produced in recent years. See especially the 2011 AI for Clark County, NV; 2010 AI for Murfreesboro, TN, and 2007 AI for Naperville, IL -- all available at http://www.plancom.co .

I can't help but wonder why the planning profession -- especially APA and AICP -- have been so adamantly refusing to allow sessions at the national APA conference on fair housing and planning, whether it be dealing with housing segregation or getting local zoning for community residences for people with disabilities to comply with the nation's Fair Housing Act.

Daniel Lauber, AICP
AICP President 2003-2005, 1992-1994
APA President 1985-1986

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