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Communities of Opportunity: A Framework to Produce Greater Racial, Social and Regional Equity Breako


Critical importance of housing as means to access social, economic and ... neighborhoods vulnerable to market 'corrections' and a precipitous drop in value. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Communities of Opportunity: A Framework to Produce Greater Racial, Social and Regional Equity Breako

Communities of OpportunityA Framework to
Produce Greater Racial, Social and Regional
EquityBreakout Session Housing
  • September 23, 2006
  • Calhoun County Summit on the Healing of Racism
  • Jason Reece, AICP Senior Research Associate
  • Christy Rogers, Research Associate
  • Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and
  • The Ohio State University
  • http//

Todays Discussion
  • Critical importance of housing as means to access
    social, economic and educational opportunity
  • Review of housing challenges
  • Segregation, realtor steering
  • Exclusionary land use policy
  • Lack of affordability concentration of
    affordable units
  • Summary of policy best practices
  • Opportunity Based Housing
  • Housing Opportunity Revenue Streams
  • Inclusive Housing
  • Fair-share Housing
  • Employer-assisted Housing

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, access to employment and
    transportation, health risks, access to health
    care and public safety
  • For those living in high poverty neighborhoods
    these factors can significantly inhibit life

Social science research on the Neighborhood
  • Neighborhoods vary in terms of
  • Resources and local service quality (public and
    private services schools, grocery stores, child
    care, after school activities, parks)
  • Crime and violence rates
  • Job access
  • Model learning via social ties and
  • Socialization and collective efficacy / norms
  • Resident perceptions of deviance

Ex Influence of Neighborhoods on Health
  • Research suggests that living in disadvantaged
    neighborhoods increases the risk of mortality and
  • Possible mechanisms
  • direct physical influences (i.e. exposure to
    toxic waste)
  • cumulative stress associated with living in
    unsafe neighborhoods with limited resources
  • harder to sustain healthy behaviors (i.e. less
    good grocery stores)
  • more likely to be targeted by companies promoting
    unhealthy lifestyles (tobacco, alcohol, fast

Housing and Wealth
  • Housing is the primary way people build assets
    and wealth in the United States, by developing
    home equity
  • Home equity accounts for 70 of the average net
    worth of households in the US
  • African Americans and Latinos are often denied
    access to this wealth building opportunity
  • Why Impediments to homeownership and the loss of
    property values due to segregation and isolation
    from opportunity
  • Why is wealth important?
  • It is intergenerational, provides a safety net,
    and allows people to access other opportunities

Housing and Wealth
  • The median asset value for a white household was
    79,400 for the median African American
    household this was 7,500 (a disparity of 900)
  • For every 1 in assets held by African Americans,
    Whites hold 9
  • This disparity is primarily due to differences in
    home equity

Housing and Opportunity
  • Housing is Critical in Determining Access to

The Cumulative Impacts of Racial and Opportunity
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
Job segregation
Neighborhood Segregation
Racial stigma, other psychological impacts
Impacts on community power and individual assets
Adapted from figure by Barbara Reskin at
Racial Segregation, Opportunity Segregation and
Racial Disparities
  • Housing policies, land use patterns and patterns
    of regional investment and disinvestment converge
    to produce continued racial segregation in our
  • Often this racial segregation coexists with
    segregation into high poverty neighborhoods and
    separation from many of the opportunities in our
    metropolitan regions
  • Producing a racial isolation in neighborhoods
    that are lacking the essential opportunities to
    advance in our society, and fueling racial

Housing Challenges
  • A well documented web of housing challenges
    disproportionately impact people of color
  • A housing market that does not produce units that
    are affordable to most people of color
  • Exclusionary land use policies
  • Discriminatory and predatory lending practices
  • Racial discrimination and steering
  • Subsidized housing funding and policy
  • Resulting in segregation and concentration for
    many African American households

Growing Affordability Problems in Many Markets
  • The nation has a growing affordability problem
  • Appreciation in coastal markets and lagging
    incomes in other markets are contributing to this

People of Color Disproportionately Impacted by
Affordability Issues
  • As housing affordability declines, communities of
    color (who are more likely to have fewer assets
    and less income) bear a disproportionate impact
  • Approximately 40 of African American and Latino
    households had housing problems (usually due to
    cost) in 2000
  • For Whites only 25 experienced housing problems

Exclusionary Land Use Policy
  • Local government land use restrictions can enable
    suburban communities to exclude affordable
  • These restrictions drive up the cost of housing
    and block access to lower-income families, most
    often African American and Hispanic households
  • This is often referred to as exclusionary
  • density restrictions (lots too large)
  • building size (large square footage requirements)
  • site restrictions (requiring driveways, large
  • use restrictions (not allowing enough
    multi-family zoned land)

Realtor steering
  • HDS2000 finds that discrimination still persists
    in both rental and sales markets of large
    metropolitan areas nationwide, but that its
    incidence has generally declined since 1989.
  • African Americans still face discrimination when
    they search for rental housing in metropolitan
    markets nationwide.
  • Geographic steering rose, suggesting that whites
    and blacks are increasingly likely to be
    recommended and shown homes in different
  • Source Discrimination in Metropolitan Housing
    Markets National Results from Phase 1, Phase 2,
    and Phase 3 of the Housing Discrimination Study
  • Available at http//

Racial Steering in Detroit
Policy Best Practices
  • Opportunity Based Housing
  • Communities of Opportunity
  • Housing Opportunity Revenue Streams
  • LIHTC and HCV revisions
  • Inclusive Housing
  • Fair-share Housing
  • Employer-assisted Housing

The Opportunity Based Housing Model
  • The opportunity based housing model was
    proposed by Kirwan Institute Executive Director
    john powell
  • Affordable housing must be deliberately and
    intelligently connected to high performing
    schools, sustaining employment, necessary
    transportation infrastructure, childcare, and
    institutions that facilitate civic and political

Linking Housing to Opportunity
  • Need to move beyond thinking of affordable
    housing/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
  • Employment
  • Safety from crime and health environments
  • Good schools
  • Neighborhood investment
  • Health care
  • Child care

What Policies Can Connect People to Opportunity?
  • Utilizing opportunity based housing principles to
    guide housing policy, coordinate affordable
    housing initiatives and target neighborhood
  • Target affordable housing development in areas of
  • Target revitalization initiatives in areas of low

Conditions in High and Low Opportunity Areas
Economic Opportunities
High Opportunity
Low Opportunity
Children and Schools
High Opportunity
Low Opportunity
High Opportunity
Low Opportunity
How do property values respond to neighboring
public and affordable housing?
  • Scale, density, and context matter
  • Nguyen (2005) found that instances in which
    affordable housing appears to have no effect
    occur when
  • (1) affordable housing is sited in healthy and
    vibrant neighborhoods
  • (2) the structure of the affordable housing does
    not change the quality or character of the
  • (3) the management of affordable housing is
    responsive to problems and concerns
  • (4) affordable housing is dispersed

Housing Opportunity Revenue Streams
  • LIHTC Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
  • Apply regional equity criteria to the
    supply-side amend state policies add
    additional siting criteria)
  • California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota
  • HCV Housing Choice Vouchers
  • Improve demand-side rental subsidy programs
  • Illinois Housing Opportunity Tax Incentive Act
    provided economic incentives for landlords

Subsidized Housing Policy, Opportunity and
  • Subsidized housing siting supports racial
    segregation by concentrating units in
    predominately poor African American communities
  • In 2000, three quarters of the nations
    traditional assisted housing units were located
    in central cities, while only 37 of the nations
    metropolitan population lived in central cities
  • The average metropolitan neighborhood with
    subsidized housing had a poverty rate that was
    three times higher than the average neighborhood

LIHTC Advocacy and Research
  • The LIHTC program is a 5 billion tax credit
    program for private developers to create
    affordable housing opportunities
  • While recent federal budgets have reduced funding
    for most housing programs (public housing,
    vouchers, Hope VI), the LIHTC program has
    remained untouched
  • The LIHTC program is the primary source of new
    subsidized housing construction in the US
  • LIHTC projects produced over 800,000 units in the
    1990s, compared to just 50,000 units of
    traditional site based subsidized housing

Is the LIHTC Producing Segregation?
  • Although the LIHTC program is siting units in
    slightly better neighborhoods than traditional
    public housing, these neighborhoods still
    continue to be areas of very high poverty and
    predominately segregated
  • Most notably in urban areas of the Midwest and
  • The LIHTC program is administered by the IRS and
    has become a civil rights free zone because of
    the unusual way the program is implemented
  • KI and PRRAC are working with state advocates and
    housing finance agencies to set guidelines to
    reduce segregation in LIHTC siting and connect
    more LIHTC units to high opportunity areas

Inclusive Housing
  • End exclusionary land use policies
  • State review
  • Barrier removal grants (FL)
  • Model land use codes
  • Promote inclusionary zoning
  • Promote mixed-income communities
  • Ex Montgomery Co., MD and Highland Park, IL

Montgomery Co., MD
  • The oldest inclusionary zoning (IZ) ordinance in
    the country.
  • Known as the Moderate Price Dwelling Unit
  • Provides that between 12.5 and 15 percent of all
    new housing development with 35 or more housing
    units must be affordable to the countys low- and
    moderate-income residents (65 percent of the Area
    Median Income).
  • By setting aside 12.5 percent of units as
    affordable, a developer can receive a density
    bonus of up to 22 percent from the county.
  • As a result of its IZ ordinance, by 2003,
    Montgomery County had produced 11,210 units of
    affordable housing

Highland Park, IL
  • In 2003, the city of Highland Park, Illinois
    approved an inclusionary zoning ordinance
    following a rapid decline in its stock of
    affordable housing.
  • The ordinance applies to all residential
    developmentsnew construction, renovations of
    existing housing, or condominium conversionsthat
    result in 5 or more units.
  • All residential developments covered by the
    ordinance are required to make 20 percent of
    their units affordable to low- and
    moderate-income residents. For example, a
    20-unit development would include 4 units that
    are made affordable.
  • Long-term affordability
  • In-Lieu Payments Made to a Housing Trust Fund
  • Dispersal of Affordable Units within the
  • Incentives fee waivers and a density bonus that
    grants one additional market-rate unit per
    affordable unit built.
  • Priority to residents who work in Highland Park

Fair-Share Housing
  • Distribute affordable housing across the region
  • NJ Fair Share
  • CA Fair Share
  • MA, RI, CT, IL State appeal boards to
    override exclusionary zoning decisions

Fair Share Housing California
  • Enacted in 1980, California has one of the oldest
    fair share housing policies in the country.
  • The states housing element law requires local
    governments to include affordable housing
    planning in their comprehensive plans
  • Regional councils of governments allocate to each
    city and county in the state a specific number of
    new housing units that must be planned for that
    are targeted to four income categories (very low,
    low, moderate, and above moderate).
  • Housing elements must be updated every five years
    and localities must submit their plans for review
    and approval by the state.
  • Housing elements must meet a number of
    requirements to be found in substantial
    compliance with the states fair share law by
    the California Department of Housing and
    Community Development.

Fair Share Housing MA
  • The Massachusetts fair share housing law, known
    as Chapter 40B, was enacted in 1960.
  • Rather than calculate housing need, Chapter 40B
    seeks to determine whether a community has met
    its fair share of the regions affordable
    housing. If 10 percent of a communitys housing
    stock consists of local, state, or federally
    subsidized housing, Chapter 40B does not apply.
  • If less than 10 percent of the housing stock is
    considered affordable under 40B, affordable
    housing developers can override local zoning
    laws. Because of its intended purpose, 40B has
    become known throughout Massachusetts as the
    anti-snob zoning law.
  • Since 1970, 40,000 units have been approved under
    Chapter 40B.

Employer-assisted Housing
  • Tie housing to jobs by increasing affordable
    housing where the jobs are
  • EAH programs include
  • Home-buying assistance
  • Support for new affordable housing construction
  • Credit repair / financial counseling
  • Investment in affordable housing funding sources

Other Important Interventions
  • Aggressively enforce fair housing laws
  • Strategies/education to reduce racial steering by
  • Tighter regulations to reduce the potential for
    predatory lending
  • Mobility counseling to assist families looking to
  • Assuring preservation of affordable housing in
    gentrifying areas

Linked Fate Why Should Others Care About Equity
and Inclusion
  • Why should those who are not marginalized care
    about equity challenges?
  • A region and all its residents share a linked
  • This issue is particularly important today
  • To thrive, regions must be competitive in the
    global economy
  • Inequality is a sign of an economically/socially
    inefficient region, where proper investments are
    not made in human capital, and where much of the
    population can not meet its creative potential
  • These disparities make the region less
    competitive, nationally and globally

Fair Housing Benefits Everyone
  • Not only are people of color negatively impacted
    by our housing market low-income Whites are
    harmed as well
  • Low-income Whites also have their housing
    mobility limited by some fair housing impediments
    (such as exclusionary zoning)
  • This opportunity segregation also impacts their
    outcomes in life
  • Large-lot zoning results in artificially higher
    housing costs, making entire suburban
    neighborhoods vulnerable to market corrections
    and a precipitous drop in value.
  • Meanwhile, the exodus from existing communities
    can result in underutilized or vacant land, and
    loss of home equity for lifelong residents of
    these areas.
  • As neighborhoods become more and more internally
    homogenous, residents become isolated from the
    diverse life experiences of other people in the