Reckoning with America's Racial Residential Segregation
March 2, 2023
Housing is the bedrock of American society, and one of the major determinants for life outcomes like health, income, and educational opportunity. Because of its importance, housing has long been the site of discriminatory policies aimed at marginalizing Black and Brown people in America, be it through zoning, redlining, crime free housing ordinances, racial steering, and more.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 aimed to address this history and outlaw discrimination, but vague guidelines and weak enforcement mechanisms have left a lot unaddressed. In January, the Biden administration reinstated the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, which adds federal heft to the Fair Housing Act and mandates that localities submit plans for actively addressing segregation and proposes that cities and states that fail to meaningfully work towards their stated goal could face loss of funding.
Throughout her career in civil rights law, ACLU President Deborah Archer has studied housing discrimination and infrastructure. She’s the Associate Dean and Co-Director of Clinical and Advocacy Programs, Professor of Clinical Law, and Co-Faculty Director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law — all at the NYU School of Law. We’re excited to have her here today to give us a primer on housing discrimination and explain why it’s part of the ACLU’s push for equitable systems across so many facets of society.