NCRC CEO Jesse Van Tol Statement on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. While the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) is currently analyzing the NPRM, preliminary assessments are concerning.

Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC, made the following statement:

“This proposal doesn’t address segregation, and that’s the whole point of the AFFH provisions of the Fair Housing Act. It focuses on income without consideration of all the other barriers to affordable housing. It cuts back the opportunities for members of local communities to have a say. And it would no longer require jurisdictions to determine what barriers exist in their areas, instead allowing them to determine their own fair housing goals. But perhaps the most egregious aspect of this proposal is that much of it is vague or undefined, which will no doubt lead to confusion at best and abuse at worst.

“You might as well take the words affirmatively and fair out of this and just call it the furthering housing policy. Or maybe just ‘housing policy,’ because I’m not sure what it furthers other than developers looking to make more money, and Nimby’s (not in my backyard) who want to keep people out of their neighborhoods. This rule certainly won’t have a positive impact on addressing America’s deep and unfair racial wealth divide, or persistent patterns of racial segregation that continue to create unfair and unjust life outcomes for people based on their zip code.”

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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