Fifty Years After the Fair Housing Act was Passed to Combat Segregation, We are Still Struggling to Find the Will to Implement It

Source: Housing Perspectives (from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies) 

“… the interest in maintaining segregation lies with individual localities, but …the sum of the localities (in the form of metropolitan regions or states) are invested in combating it. While not discounting the fact that many people say they desire integrated neighborhoods in the abstract while opposing them in their own community (something anyone who has ever attended a local zoning meeting in an exclusionary area can attest to) the math is obvious. Opposition is concentrated in localities with a minority of the population, and this opposition is the roadblock to creating truly integrated regions.”

“In moving forward, we should look back on what moved us from these tentative steps in the 1950s toward the broad ones of the 1960s, mainly the organization, enfranchisement, and political power that the civil rights movement produced, and see how we can recreate it for modern times. Without this, “what will it take” and “what can we do” will stay questions with different answers.”

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies advances understanding of housing issues and informs policy.

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