Housing Investment Opportunity

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					A Communities of Opportunity Approach to
             Fair Housing

                   Fair Housing Law and Practice
                   Seattle University School of Law
                          March 15-16, 2007

                               john a. powell
              Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties,
                          Moritz College of Law &
       Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Roadmap of today’s presentation

   Disparities threaten everyone: linked fates
   How can we close the disparity gap, while uplifting
    outcomes and growing opportunity for all?
   Communities of Opportunity approach
   Example in fair housing litigation
       Thompson v. HUD
   The Seattle context
   Closing: Linked fates … transformative change

Place and Life Outcomes

   Where you live is more important than what you
    live in…
       Housing -- in particular its location -- is the primary
        mechanism for accessing opportunity in our society
       Housing location determines the quality of schools children
        attend, the quality of public services they receive, access to
        employment and transportation, exposure to health risks,
        access to health care, etc.
       For those living in high poverty neighborhoods, these factors
        can significantly inhibit life outcomes

Housing and Opportunity
Housing is Critical in Determining Access to Opportunity

                  Childcare            Employment

Who Lives in High Poverty Neighborhoods?

   Over 3.1 million African Americans lived in high poverty
    neighborhoods in 2000
       Whites only make 30% of people living in high poverty
        neighborhoods, although they represent 55% of the total
        population living in poverty
           Source: “Stunning Progress, Hidden Problems: The Dramatic Decline of Concentrated Poverty in the
            1990’s.” The Brookings Institute (2003)

    The Miner’s Canary
   As housing affordability declines, communities of
    color bear a disproportionate impact
        Approximately 40% of African American and Latino
        households had housing problems (usually due to cost)
        in 2000 (vs. 25% of whites)
   The housing challenges and disparities facing
    communities of color are indicators of larger
    societal challenges in the housing arena
       These disparities reflect structural institutional barriers
        that will soon threaten everyone

Housing affordability gap for many

   According to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition,
    Out of Reach 2006:
     Roughly a third of American households rent (Seattle MSA: 38%)

     There is not a county in the country where a full-time minimum
       wage worker can afford a 1 BR apartment at fair market rents
   In Washington, the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment is $776,
    which translates to a “housing wage” of $14.91 (In Seattle, it’s
   However, the median wage for a Washington renter is $12.51 (In
    Seattle, it’s $15.48)
    = The “average” renter is struggling along with low-income renters.

    Fair Housing Benefits Everyone

   People of color are not the only ones negatively
    impacted by our housing market dynamics
   Low-income Whites and Whites living in the city
    and inner suburbs are harmed as well
     Low-income Whites have their opportunities

       limited by some fair housing impediments,
       negatively impacting their lives
   The Communities of Opportunity approach
    attempts to improve everyone’s access to social,
    economic, and educational opportunities

Communities of Opportunity

   The “Communities of Opportunity” framework
    is a model of fair housing and community
   The model is based on the premises that
       Everyone should have fair access to the critical
        opportunity structures needed to succeed in life
       Affirmatively connecting people to opportunity
        creates positive, transformative change in

Communities of Opportunity

   The “Communities of Opportunity” model
    advocates for a fair investment in all of a
    region’s people and neighborhoods -- to
    improve the life outcomes of all citizens, and
    to improve the health of the entire region

Communities of Opportunity

   The Communities of Opportunity framework is
    inherently spatial
       Inequality has a geographic footprint
       Maps can visually track the history and presence of
        discriminatory and exclusionary policies
       This “opportunity mapping” has been completed for many
        metropolitan areas in the U.S. and is used by advocates to
        further fair housing and community development goals
   The Communities of Opportunity model uses state-
    of-the-art geographic information systems (GIS) and
    extensive data sets to analyze the distribution of
    opportunity in our metropolitan areas

The Web of Opportunity

    Opportunities in our society are geographically
     distributed (and often clustered) throughout
     metropolitan areas
        This creates “winner” and “loser” communities or “high”
         and “low” opportunity communities
    Your location within this “web of opportunity” plays
     a decisive role in your life potential and outcomes
        Individual characteristics still matter…
        …but so does access to opportunity, such as good
         schools, health care, child care, and job networks

         The Cumulative Impacts of Racial and
         Opportunity Segregation
                    Segregation impacts a number of life-opportunities
                                       Impacts on Health
                                            School Segregation
                                                        Impacts on Educational Achievement

                                                         Exposure to crime; arrest

                                                          Transportation limitations and
                                                          other inequitable public services

            Neighborhood                                        Job segregation
                                                              Racial stigma, other
                                                             psychological impacts
                                                          Impacts on community power
                                                             and individual assets

Adapted from figure by Barbara Reskin at: http://faculty.washington.edu/reskin/
Economic Conditions
                      High Opportunity

   Low Opportunity

School Conditions

                     High Opportunity

   Low Opportunity

Housing and education nexus
Sprawl   Segregation   Dysfunctional Schools

                              50 years after the
                              Brown Decision,
                             America’s schools
                             have re-segregated
                             into affluent white
                             districts and poor,
                              African American
                                and Hispanic

 Economic Segregation
and Racial Segregation in
     Public Schools:
  Cleveland and Akron
High Poverty Schools (Red
     and Yellow) are
 Concentrated in African
American Neighborhoods
     (Areas in Gray)

Disinvestment in Communities of Color
                   Decades of suburban flight have
                    drained low-income
                    neighborhoods of people, business
                    and investment
                   High vacancy rates and lack of
                    investment harms the quality of life
                    for inner city residents and limits
                    the resources (tax base) for low
                    income communities

Opportunity Segregation

   This segregation from opportunity can be
    quantified, as illustrated in these examples
       Milwaukee
       Chicago
       Cleveland
   In all examples, African Americans are
    disproportionately segregated into
    neighborhoods of low opportunity

 The Dynamics of
 Opportunity in the
 Milwaukee Region

 Light Colors = Lowest
 Opportunity Neighborhoods

 Dark Colors = Highest
 Opportunity Neighborhoods

  Low opportunity communities
are clustered in the inner city,
high opportunity areas are found
in the suburbs
      Based on multiple indicators of
    neighborhood opportunity
    including: Poverty rates, vacancy
    rates, population change,
    unemployment rates, home values

and Subsidized
Housing in

  Communities of
      This example is a 6
       county Communities of
       Opportunity map for the
       Chicago region
          Red = Lowest
          Blue = Highest

Source: Report published by the Leadership
Council for Metropolitan Open Communities 2005

Cleveland opportunity analysis & race

Case Studies: Opportunity Segregation by
Race (Milwaukee, Chicago and Cleveland)

Milwaukee    Chicago: 1 Lowest
            Opportunity; 5 Highest

Communities of Opportunity

   To remedy such “opportunity segregation,”
    the Communities of Opportunity approach
    emphasizes investment in
   People
   Places
   Linkages

Linking Housing to Opportunity

   Need to move beyond thinking of affordable and
    subsidized housing in terms of “fair share” or
    suburban/urban dichotomy
   Need to think in terms of opportunity
       “Opportunity structures” are the resources and services
        that contribute to stability and advancement
           Employment
           Safety from crime and environmental pollution
           Good schools
           Neighborhood investment
           Health care
           Child care

   People
       Subsidies for affordable housing in high-opportunity
        neighborhoods with good schools
   Places
       Regional housing and neighborhood development plans
       Opportunity-based Zoning
   Linkages
       Improved public transportation to jobs

This approach reflects the evolution of fair
housing strategies
   Fair Share …. Anti-Snob …. Workforce
    Housing …. Opportunity Housing
       Opportunity-based housing is more
       More reflective of today’s regional dynamics;
        moves away from city vs. suburb dichotomy
           Gentrification
           Redevelopment
           Declining inner suburbs
           Exurban development & multi-modal regions

Communities of Opportunity: a holistic
   The Communities of Opportunity model is more holistic than
    previous integrated or inclusionary housing models
   While acknowledging the primacy of housing as an anchor to
    opportunity, emphasizes its leveraging relationship with
    education, community economic development, health care, etc.
   Its measure of success would be better outcomes across the
    board (more capital investment, better educational attainment,
    cleaner air), not just desegregation per se
   Its mission includes growing opportunity for all, not just
    remedying a disparity gap (not zero-sum but win-win)

Communities of Opportunity: a holistic
   The Communities of Opportunity model can explore
    relationships relevant to, but not restricted to,
       Are low-income communities burdened with high food
       Are primary care physicians on public transit lines?
       Are minority businesses able to access growing markets?
   Therefore, it can mobilize diverse constituencies
       Housing, health care, economic, smart growth, faith-based
   And lead to structural, transformative change

   People
     Vouchers for students to access high-performing, low-
       poverty schools
   Places
     Magnet and charter schools

     Targeted support (service learning, de-tracking, early
       childhood education, high-quality teachers to high-need
   Links
     Collaborative education with community stakeholders
     Link P-12 to University and employment

Economic development

Equitable Economic        development
  Practice Areas          Leveraging and
                       distributing resources
                           & investments

The Communities of Opportunity Approach in
Fair Housing
   Thompson v. HUD
       Lawsuit filed on behalf of 14,000 African American public
        housing residents in the City of Baltimore
       Plaintiffs representatives include the Maryland ACLU and
        NAACP Legal Defense Fund
       In January 2005, US District Court Judge Garbis found
        HUD liable for violating the federal Fair Housing Act, for not
        providing fair housing opportunities to Baltimore’s African
        American public housing residents
       The current remedial phase involves designing a court
        ordered remedy to address HUD’s fair housing violation

Thompson v. HUD: Liability ruling
   HUD failed to affirmatively promote fair housing by
    failing to consider a regional approach to
    desegregating public housing
   “[T]he failure adequately to take a regional approach
    to the desegregation of public housing in the region
    that included Baltimore City violated the Fair
    Housing Act and requires consideration of
    appropriate remedial action by the Court.”

Thompson v. HUD

    Submitted expert reports
     in both the liability and
     the remedy phases of the
     litigation, on behalf of
    Used GIS to analyze
     current conditions of
     segregated public
     housing (liability phase)
     and frame solutions for
     desegregation (remedy

Conditions in Baltimore
    Subsidized
     opportunities in
     Baltimore are
     clustered in the
     African American

Litigation challenges

   Two homeowners’ lawsuits filed to block
    replacement housing in white communities, one of
    which was upheld in Fifth Circuit court
       Highlands of McKamy et. al. v. the DHA
       Fifth Circuit ruling vacates district court ruling and upholds
        homeowners’ argument that the DHA Remedial Order’s
        provision requiring the location of 474 units of new public
        housing in predominantly white areas is an unconstitutional
        violation of the rights of the homeowners under the Equal
        Protection Clause of the Constitution
       The Court argues that the Section 8 program is a more
        appropriate remedy

Litigation challenges

   Given the Fifth Circuit’s preference for a race-neutral
   vs. abundance of research showing that unrestricted
    Section 8 vouchers don’t effectively de-segregate…
   What are options for effective remedies?

Ruling: remedy must be regional
   “Geographic considerations, economic limitations, population
    shifts, etc. have rendered it impossible to effect a meaningful
    degree of desegregation of public housing by redistributing the
    public housing population of Baltimore City within the City limits.
    Baltimore City should not be viewed as an island reservation for
    use as a container for all of the poor of a contiguous region.”

   “The Court finds an approach of regionalization to be integral to
    desegregation in the Baltimore Region…by the term
    “regionalization” the Court refers to policies whereby the effects
    of past segregation in Baltimore City public housing may be
    ameliorated by the provision of public housing opportunities
    beyond the boundaries of Baltimore City”

        Proposed remedy identifies
        Communities of Opportunity
   Used 14 indicators of
    neighborhood opportunity to
    designate high and low opportunity
    neighborhoods in the region
     Neighborhood Quality/Health
           Poverty, Crime, Vacancy,
            Property Values, Population
       Economic Opportunity
           Proximity to Jobs and Job
            Changes, Public Transit
       Educational Opportunity
           School Poverty, School Test
            Scores, Teacher Qualifications

Proposed Remedy: Principles
   The remedy should connect subsidized
    housing residents to communities of
       The remedy must be sensitive to opportunity
       The remedy must be metropolitan-wide
       The remedy must be race-conscious
       The remedy must not force dispersal of public
        housing residents
       The remedy must be goal-driven
       The remedy should make use of a variety of tools
        available to HUD

Equitable development and fair housing in
   The Seattle Context
       Not a weak market or rust-belt city like Cleveland,
        Milwaukee or Detroit…or like Baltimore
       What are the issues relevant to hot market cities?
           What is a hot market region?
           Equity threats in hot market regions
           Building and maintaining equity
   How is opportunity distributed differently in a
    hot market region?

What is a Hot Market Region?
   A region that is experiencing rapid investment and
    growth, where the private market requires very little
    incentive to invest
   Characteristics of a hot market region
       Very strong housing and job market
       Likely to experience a rapid inflation of property values
       Influx of new residents and high rate of investment
       Redevelopment will occur regardless of public sector
        incentives for developers

Seattle’s Hot Market Characteristics

   Research by the Lewis Mumford Center
    found the Seattle region to be the 17th most
    economically healthy region in the nation in
   Since 2000 the Seattle region has recorded
    an influx of a quarter million new residents
   Median home values increased by 49% in the
    Seattle region between 2000 and 2005
   The rate of job growth in the Seattle region
    was twice the national average in 2006
            Source: Puget Sound Regional Council, Lewis Mumford   44
            Center, U.S. Census Bureau
Equity Challenges in Hot Market Regions

   Threats
       Although hot market regions contain less disparity
        than weak market regions (Detroit, Newark,
        Milwaukee), equity remains a challenge
       Why?
           The market will not equally distribute the benefits and
            burdens associated with this new growth
           Resulting in potential displacement of marginalized
            populations and businesses

Building and Maintaining Equity

   Countering gentrification
       Addressing the housing affordability dilemma
       Connection to opportunity
   Inclusionary economic development
       Education
       Community benefits agreements
       Strengthening minority and small businesses
   Developing and maintaining political voice

    Countering Gentrification

   How can we avoid gentrification?
     Develop an early warning system: assess, map, and analyze the
      potential for displacement
     Stabilize current residents by opening access to homeownership
      and targeted use of income and asset strategies
     Advocate mixed-income development at every turn and across
     Expand the range of housing not susceptible to the commercial
      market through permanent affordability mechanisms
     Utilize equity criteria to guide new investment

     Anchor culturally-rooted commercial, nonprofit and arts
     Tie housing production to commercial growth

Opportunity Based Housing

   Just like a weak market city, hot markets can
    result in segregation from communities of
    opportunity for marginalized groups
       In weak market regions (Detroit) people are
        disconnected from high opportunity
        neighborhoods in the suburbs
       In hot market regions (Seattle) people may be
        disconnected from high opportunity
        neighborhoods in the city

 How is Opportunity
 Distributed in a Hot
    Market City?
(Example: Austin, TX)
Opportunity in the Austin
     region is more
centralized (not a hollow
region like Cleveland or
 Milwaukee). Although,
  opportunity is more
   centralized it is still
  spatially segregated.

Opportunity Segregation in Seattle

   Although opportunity is not as spatially
    segregated in Seattle as regions in the
    Northeast or Midwest, significant disparities
    still exist
       Housing affordability
       Subsidized housing and poverty, race, jobs,
   Need to look at opportunity comprehensively
    (opportunity mapping) to better understand
    these dynamics

Housing Affordability

   Significant racial disparities exist in who is
    most directly impacted by housing cost
   In King County during the year 2000
       31% of Whites were burdened by housing cost
           Paying more than 30% of their income for housing
       For other races this figure was:
           African Americans (49% cost burdened)
           Latinos (55% burdened)
           Asians (44% burdened)

                  Source: HUD, US Census Bureau                51
Subsidized Housing and Poverty

Subsidized Housing and Race

Subsidized Housing and Job Growth

Subsidized Housing and Growth

Economic Inclusion

   Who has been left behind in Seattle’s economic
       Are minority owned businesses and other small businesses
        benefiting from economic growth?
       Are marginalized communities benefiting from the pacific
        region’s extraordinary business growth, neighborhood
        redevelopment, housing development, commercial
   Experience from other hot market regions suggest
    that these groups are not benefiting as much as the
    majority community

Inclusion for Marginalized Communities

   How can marginalized communities benefit more from
    the economic growth and investment found in hot
    market regions?
   Three strategies:
       Assure business investments provide benefits to
        disadvantaged groups (Community Benefits Agreements)
       Assess the racial impacts of new developments (Racial
        Impact Statements)
       Assure people are educated and trained for inclusion into
        Seattle’s thriving 21st century technology economy

Developing Political Voice

   How can we develop and expand the political
    voice of marginalized groups in regions where
    displacement/gentrification is occurring?
   Need diverse coalitions…
       Diverse with respect to race, geography and faith
       Diverse with respect to organization: community based
        organizations, social justice groups, local governments,
        business community, CDC’s, philanthropic institutions
        and large urban institutions (e.g. universities)

Coalitions Centered on Opportunity
   A diverse coalition has formed in the
    Baltimore region to further opportunity based
    housing in the region
       The Baltimore Regional Fair Housing Campaign
   The coalition is successfully utilizing its
    diverse membership to capitalize on its
    members assets

Coalitions Centered on Opportunity

   The coalition is working both to enable
    successful implementation of the remedy and
    is working independently to assist in
    connecting more low income families to
       Establishing social support and counseling for
        Thompson movers
       Educating the public about the case and goals of
        the remedy
       Assessing and securing affordable housing in high
        opportunity areas
Other Communities of Opportunity
   Vacant Property in Detroit: Bringing
    Opportunity Back to Detroit’s Inner City
   Erase Racism: Communities of Opportunity in
    Battle Creek, MI
   Opportunity Mapping and Housing Advocacy:
    Columbus, OH; Chicago, IL; and Austin, TX
   Regional Equity: Creating Greater
    Opportunity for All (Cleveland, OH)

Linked fates…transformative change

   Our fates are linked, yet our fates have been socially constructed
    as disconnected (especially through the categories of class, race,
    gender, nationality, region)…
       We need socially constructed “bridges” to transform our
       Conceive of an individuality as connected to—instead of
        isolated from—“thy neighbor”
       Be advocates for “Communities of Opportunity” as
        transformative change
         Transformative : An intervention that works to
           permanently transform structural arrangements which
           produce inequity and disparity

Agents of transformative change
   Recognize that housing advocacy is a leverage
    point for connecting clients to other critical
    opportunity structures
       Education
       Jobs
       Child care
       Health care
       Transportation
   All of these are related and affect each other; all
    show effects of cumulative disparity; all are ripe for
    transformative change!



Description: Housing Investment Opportunity document sample