The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a new "fair housing" regulation to ensure "every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of," CNSNews.com reports.
The new guidelines are reportedly intended to help individual communities understand "fair housing barriers" and "establish clear goals" for "improving integrated living patterns and overcoming historic patterns of segregation."
“This proposed rule represents a 21st century approach to fair housing, a step forward to ensuring that every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of – where they have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in life,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said.
Donovan continued: “For the first time ever, HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class."
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According to HUD, long-term solutions include "helping people gain access to different neighborhoods and channeling investments into under-served areas." The mapping tool may guide development and zoning decisions, for example.
In a July 16 speech to the NAACP, Donovan said the American Dream still isn't within equal reach of all communities. He lamented the lack of diversity in America's boardrooms, schools, and the nation's "strongest neighborhoods."
"We have got to shape a future where ladders of opportunity are available for all Americans," Donovan said. "For African Americans, this is critically important. Historically, for this community, the rungs on these ladders have been too far apart -– making it harder to reach the middle class."
Donovan said HUD's new neighborhood mapping tool, which uses Census data, will "expand access to high opportunity neighborhoods and draw attention to investment possibilities in under-served communities."
HUD requires grantees, including cities, that receive federal housing funds to adhere to the Fair Housing Act, which means to "affirmatively further fair housing."
HUD, under the proposed "fair housing" rule, will be able to evaluate patterns of so-called integration and segregation, racial and ethic concentrations of poverty and access "valuable community assets," CNSNews.com elaborates.
"The proposed rule explicitly incorporates fair-housing decision-making into existing planning processes and 'other decision-making that influences how communities and regions grow and develop,'" the report concludes.
Read CNSNews.com's full report here.