Skip to main content

Expanding Opportunity Through Fair Housing Choice

Evidence Matters Banner Image

Spring/Summer 2014   


        Expanding Opportunity Through Fair Housing Choice
        Paired Testing and the Housing Discrimination Studies
        Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations Use Testing To Expose Discrimination

Expanding Opportunity Through Fair Housing Choice


      • The persistence of subtle forms of discrimination limits housing opportunities for minority homeseekers and contributes to patterns of residential segregation.
      • Fair housing enforcement efforts — often performed by local, nonprofit fair housing organizations that are backed with federal funding — help expose and punish discriminatory behavior; however, they are limited because they rely primarily on victims of discrimination to initiate complaints.
      • Segregation rates in the United States remain high, restricting minority households’ access to neighborhoods rich in amenities and opportunities; this restriction ultimately affects health, education, and other life outcomes.

More than four decades after Congress passed the Fair Housing Act, fair housing issues remain critical to the pursuit of strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and equal opportunity for all. There is evidence of progress. By some measures, incidences of housing discrimination by race have declined since 1977, when the first national fair housing audit study was conducted. However, even as overt forms of discrimination, such as the outright refusal to sell or rent housing, have become less common, more subtle forms, such as steering homeseekers to certain neighborhoods, remain widespread. Racial segregation in housing has not only endured but, along with increasing income segregation, has also created areas of concentrated poverty populated predominantly by minority residents. Research shows that such residential segregation carries high costs for individuals, families, and society as a whole, constricting opportunity and life chances and limiting economic growth. To date, fair housing policy has not been as effective as policymakers intended in combating these problems. Renewed efforts at both local and federal levels, however, take a more proactive approach to promoting fair housing choice with the ultimate goal of reducing economic inequality by ensuring equal opportunity.

Housing Discrimination: Persistence, but Progress

A kid's drawing titled, 'Fair Housing for All, Big and Small,' shows persons of different ages and races standing in front on houses.
Samantha Tan’s entry “Fair Housing for All, Big and Small!” won the Fair Housing Council of Oregon’s 2014 fair housing poster contest. Photo courtesy: Fair Housing Council of Oregon
With a few exceptions, federal fair housing law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status in all stages of seeking and securing housing.1 Some state and local jurisdictions have adopted additional provisions to prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income, or marital status, among others. Housing discrimination includes both differential treatment regarding availability or terms and conditions in the advertisement, sale or rental, financing, or insurance of housing, and disparate impact of apparently neutral practices or policies in restricting housing choice and opportunity according to any basis prohibited by law. Policies such as mortgage pricing practices that are unrelated to creditworthiness or local residency preferences for housing choice vouchers — even when not intentionally discriminatory — may in practice deny equal housing opportunity or perpetuate segregation without justification and thus be prohibited by the Fair Housing Act.2 Despite these legal prohibitions and an elaborate federal, state, and local enforcement system, evidence suggests that discrimination remains a pervasive problem in the nation’s housing markets.3

The National Fair Housing Alliance, a national consortium of private and nonprofit fair housing organizations, estimates that 3.7 million instances of discrimination occur each year on the basis of race alone.4 This persistent discrimination is different in nature from the “door-slamming” discrimination — overt and explicit refusal to rent, sell, or even show housing to a racial minority — that was standard practice before the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.5 Today, minority homeseekers are more likely to encounter “discrimination with a smile” — more subtle mistreatment such as falsely being told that no units are available.6 HUD’s 2012 Housing Discrimination Study, for example, found that while well-qualified minority homeseekers were as likely as white homeseekers to get an appointment to see a rental apartment or home, they were less likely than their white counterparts to be told about available units or shown as many units. (See “Paired Testing and the Housing Discrimination Studies.”) As a result, minority homeseekers incur greater search-related costs and have more limited housing choices.7 A similar shift has occurred in the lending arena, as discrimination has largely changed from credit denial (though this still exists) into access to credit on unequal terms.8 Studies of both mortgage credit availability and terms find evidence of discrimination against racial minorities compared with similarly qualified white borrowers.9 Notably, lending discrimination based on race was pervasive during the subprime lending boom; research shows that minorities paid higher interest rates and prices on subprime loans — a difference that could not be explained by income or credit risk.10

Protesters holding signs march at a demonstration in 1964 in Seattle, Washington.
Explicit housing discrimination, such as that protested at this Congress of Racial Equality-sponsored demonstration in Seattle in 1964, has declined dramatically, but subtle forms persist. Photo courtesy: Photo, Item 63893, Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives
Less research has been conducted to measure the incidence of discrimination against persons with disabilities nationally; however, the number of disability-based complaints received by HUD and local government enforcement agencies has neared 50 percent of the total in recent years, indicating that it is a significant problem.11 A paired-testing study of the Chicago rental market in 2005 found that one of four deaf apartment seekers using a text telephone (TTY) relay service had their calls refused and that TTY callers generally received less information and follow-up than did non-TTY callers. The study found that one out of every four apartment seekers in a wheelchair learned about fewer available apartments, and three of ten were denied the opportunity to inspect available units. Almost one out of six housing providers refused to allow a reasonable modification such as widening a doorway or installing a ramp, and almost one in five providers with onsite parking refused to provide and designate a wheelchair-accessible parking spot (see “Fair Housing Enforcement Organizations Use Testing To Expose Discrimination”).12

Discrimination on the basis of national origin, which in some cases may overlap with racial and ethnic discrimination, was cited in 13 percent of complaints received by HUD and local governments in fiscal year (FY) 2011. A recent study of national origin discrimination in Birmingham, Atlanta, and San Antonio found that, compared with their white counterparts, Hispanic homeseekers experienced at least one type of adverse treatment in search-related housing interactions 42 percent of the time.13 Of the remaining bases of discrimination protected by the Fair Housing Act, sex was cited in 11 percent, familial status in 15 percent, religion in 3 percent, and color in 2 percent of complaints received by HUD and local government enforcement agencies in FY 2011.14

Recent research documents ongoing market discrimination against other groups not protected under the federal Fair Housing Act. A study of discrimination against same-sex couples in rentals advertised on the internet found that same-sex couples received fewer email responses than heterosexual couples after contacting a housing provider. To combat these and similar practices, 21 states and the District of Columbia had prohibited housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity as of early 2012, and HUD programs and HUD-assisted or -insured housing providers cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.15

Discrimination based on source of income also restricts fair housing choice but is not prohibited by federal law. Some state and local jurisdictions have adopted protections on this basis, making it illegal, for example, for a landlord to refuse to rent to tenants who pay with housing vouchers or to disregard Social Security disability benefits as a qualifying source of income. By preventing voucher holders from moving to opportunity-rich neighborhoods, this type of discrimination both restricts housing choice for voucher holders and prevents the Housing Choice Voucher program from fulfilling its goal of deconcentrating poverty.16 Because some protected classes, such as racial minorities, are disproportionately represented among voucher holders, refusing to accept vouchers may also have a disparate impact on groups protected by the federal Fair Housing Act.17

The differential treatment type of housing discrimination generally occurs during the face-to-face interactions associated with seeking and securing housing. Numerous ostensibly nondiscriminatory practices and policies such as occupancy limits can also have a disparate impact or discriminatory effect on racial minorities or other protected classes.18 Massey and Rothwell conclude that zoning that restricts density, for example, limits the ability of low- and moderate-income minorities to leave segregated areas.19 Significantly, both HUD and the federal courts have interpreted the Fair Housing Act “to prohibit practices with an unjustified discriminatory effect, regardless of whether there was an intent to discriminate.”20 Both private and public entities may engage in practices that have discriminatory effects, ranging from differential maintenance of foreclosed homes, subprime lending, and targeted marketing to unfair land use policies and the siting of public housing developments in segregated areas.21

Fair Housing Enforcement

Photo shows the Chamberlains, a family of six.
Founded in 1986 to implement the settlement agreement resulting from the Mount Laurel I and Mount Laurel II litigation against exclusionary zoning in New Jersey, Fair Share Housing Development provides affordable housing with access to high-quality schools to families like the Chamberlains, pictured here. Photo courtesy: Mark Lozier, Fair Share Housing Development
Although legal prohibitions and public education campaigns can reduce discrimination by positively shaping attitudes and behavior, effective enforcement remains crucial for achieving fair housing aims. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 delegated primary enforcement responsibility to HUD, although it also outlined a specific role for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and directed “all executive departments and agencies” to further the purposes of the act through their programs and activities.22

Currently, fair housing enforcement is largely complaint driven. Those who believe that they have been or are about to be victims of housing discrimination can file a discrimination complaint with HUD or with a state or local government agency that participates in HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP). Under FHAP, HUD funds the investigative, training, and education efforts of participating agencies in jurisdictions that have fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to or more stringent than those of the federal Fair Housing Act. Some complainants will first file a complaint with a local nonprofit fair housing organization. Many of these organizations participate in HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), which supports local organizations’ education and enforcement efforts.23 HUD has begun to make more frequent use of its authority to seek systemic relief through Secretary-initiated complaints, which are based on investigations in which no complainant has come forward and cases in which more people have been impacted by a discriminatory practice than just the filing complainant.24

In recent years, policymakers have placed increased emphasis on FHIP enforcement. Overall FHIP funding increased dramatically in FY 2010, up to $42.5 million from $27.5 million in FY 2009, and since FY 2008, a greater share of FHIP funds has gone toward enforcement than toward education or capacity building.25 This increase notwithstanding, Silverman and Patterson argue that fair housing policy has suffered from “chronic underfunding” and “inconsistent implementation.”26 An enforcement system that relies so heavily on the initiation of complainants is significantly limited. As housing discrimination has become more subtle, many victims may not even realize that they have been treated unfairly. A 2005 HUD survey found that even among those who did perceive that they had been discriminated against, only four percent sought help from or filed a complaint with a fair housing organization, government agency, or private attorney. Survey respondents cited several reasons for not taking action, including the belief that filing a complaint was not worth the effort, would not help, or would be too costly or time consuming; a lack of knowledge about where or how to complain; and a fear of retaliation.27 The average FHAP settlement between 2005 and 2008 was $1,599 — an amount that may be too small to either motivate potential victims to pursue a complaint or deter violators from discriminating.28 The total number of private legal actions and HUD, FHAP, and FHIP complaints, numbering in the tens of thousands annually, still pales in comparison to the estimated millions of instances of housing discrimination occurring each year.29

Research shows, however, that despite these limitations, enforcement efforts do make a difference. In a study of data from HUD’s discrimination studies and complaint database, DOJ, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the U.S. Census Bureau covering 1989 to 2000, Ross and Galster found that metropolitan areas in which HUD and HUD-supported FHIP and FHAP agencies win larger monetary awards have shown greater decreases in housing discrimination against black renters and homebuyers.30 In addition, Turner et al. conclude that long-term trends in housing discrimination suggest that fair housing education and enforcement efforts have been effective.31 Overall, public opinion surveys indicate a shift over time toward greater acceptance of residential diversity and federal prohibitions against housing discrimination, both signs of progress and potential.32

Continuing Segregation: Causes and Costs

If the long-term decline in the incidence of housing discrimination indicates that our nation’s implementation of fair housing policy has achieved some level of success, the dogged persistence of residential segregation reveals the substantial work yet to be done. As measured by the dissimilarity index — a common measure of segregation based on the relative percentage of group members that would have to move to be evenly distributed throughout a particular area — in 2010, segregation of blacks from persons of other races was lower in 657 of 658 housing markets compared with 1970 and in 522 of 658 markets compared with 2000.33 Black-white segregation rates, in particular, have gradually declined, but remain high — especially in many of the larger cities of the Midwest and Northeast.34 Both Hispanic-white and Asian-white segregation, by dissimilarity index, have held relatively stable since 1980, while the isolation of both groups has increased steadily over the same period.35 In a study of 367 metropolitan areas, Logan and Stults found that in 2010, the typical white resident lived in a neighborhood that was 75 percent white, 8 percent black, 11 percent Hispanic, and 5 percent Asian, whereas the typical black resident lived in a neighborhood that was 45 percent black, 35 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian and the typical Hispanic resident lived in a neighborhood that was 46 percent Hispanic, 35 percent white, 11 percent black, and 7 percent Asian.36 Multiple factors contribute to the persistence of segregation, including continuing market discrimination, legacies of past discrimination and segregation, racial differences in wealth and income, household preferences, and public policy.37 Considerable scholarly debate continues over the relative importance of each of these explanations.

Causes. Continuing discrimination in housing markets limits housing choices for minorities and thereby reinforces segregation.38 Even if housing markets were completely free of discrimination, the legacy of discrimination and the segregation it fostered is somewhat self-perpetuating. Because racial minorities historically have had unequal access to education and employment opportunities and have benefited less from the wealth accumulation of suburban homeownership, they are less likely even today to have the financial resources to choose residential options in less segregated, lower-poverty neighborhoods.39

Reviews of literature on segregation by both Dawkins and Charles conclude that racial differences in socioeconomic status explain only a small portion of existing patterns of segregation.40 Higher incomes somewhat increase residential mobility for black households, but middle- and high-income black households continue to live in segregated, predominantly minority neighborhoods.41 Black households earning $14,999 or less per year, for example, live in neighborhoods that are, on average, 61 percent black and 28 percent white, whereas black households earning more than $1 million per year live in neighborhoods averaging 45 percent black and 44 percent white — only slightly different from the neighborhood composition of the typical black household described above.42 Of the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest black populations, in only 2 did affluent black households live in less poor neighborhoods than average white households.43

Children running on the grounds of Ethel R. Lawrence Homes in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey.
Children play in front of the Ethel R. Lawrence Homes, an affordable rental apartment complex built by Fair Share Housing Development in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey. Photo courtesy: Mark Lozier, Fair Share Housing Development
Some degree of residential segregation can be attributed to household preferences. There is evidence that some black households prefer to live in majority black neighborhoods, but this preference is generally considered to have a relatively small effect on residential patterns; more commonly, black households indicate a preference for evenly integrated neighborhoods.44 Self-segregation among white households, however, is thought to play a more significant role, with white households willing to pay more to live in predominantly white neighborhoods.45 Card, Mas, and Rothstein, analyzing census data from 1970 to 2000, found evidence of neighborhood transitions in which an integrated neighborhood would remain relatively stable until the minority share reached a “tipping point” ranging from between 5 percent to more than 20 percent, after which the racial composition of the neighborhood would rapidly shift as white residents left.46 This dynamic demonstrates the limited ability of an individual household to live in its preferred type of neighborhood — what Sharkey calls “unselected change.”47 In this case, for example, a black household could move to a proportionately integrated neighborhood only to find the neighborhood soon transitioning to being predominantly black. Household preferences among whites and racial minorities are varied, however, and can function to decrease segregation as well. Glaeser and Vigdor find that movement of black households from urban areas in the Midwest and Northeast to less segregated Sun Belt areas and, to a lesser extent, the movement of white households into predominantly black urban neighborhoods explain part of the observed decline in black-white segregation.48

Public policies can also contribute to continuing segregation. The discriminatory effects of ostensibly race-neutral policies such as density zoning can limit fair housing choice. For example, a zoning ordinance that has the effect of restricting construction of multifamily housing to predominantly minority areas perpetuates segregation.49 Policies such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, one of the primary sources of funding for affordable housing, may not generally increase segregation, but they have little fair housing oversight and may fail to further fair housing aims by not promoting a more equitable geographic distribution of affordable housing opportunities.50 LIHTC properties tend to be clustered in high-density areas with higher poverty levels and fewer non-Hispanic whites.51 On the other hand, LIHTC properties bring much-needed investment and affordable, high-quality housing to high-poverty neighborhoods. The tension between the worthy, sometimes competing goals of fostering investment in poor minority areas and creating affordable housing in low-poverty, opportunity-rich areas is not easily resolved, especially in an era of limited resources. The affordable housing advocacy groups Enterprise Community Partners, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the National Housing Trust have expressed that policymakers should ensure that both of these goals are pursued equally.52

Costs. Segregation reflects not only restricted choices in housing but restricted life chances. A growing body of evidence shows that where one lives greatly determines access to amenities and opportunities, ultimately affecting one’s health, education, and other life outcomes.53 Over the past four decades, income, resources, and amenities increasingly have been concentrated in affluent neighborhoods whereas many low-income black and Hispanic neighborhoods have become areas of concentrated poverty.54 Of the census tracts in which more than 40 percent of the population is below the federal poverty level, 78 percent are predominantly populated by members of minority groups.55 These high-poverty, resource-deprived neighborhoods result in myriad adverse outcomes for their residents.56

Residential segregation can physically separate minorities from employment opportunities and exacerbate the problems of employment discrimination, differentials in skills and experience, and limited access to information about job opportunities.57 Vast differences in educational opportunities exist between the segregated neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and more affluent neighborhoods. Card and Rothstein find that in more segregated cities, a larger gap exists between the test scores of black and white students, and Wodtke, Harding, and Elwert find that living in a severely disadvantaged neighborhood greatly reduces the likelihood of high school graduation, especially for black students.58 Researchers have also found associations between residential segregation by race and disparities in infant and adult mortality rates, environmental quality, and access to primary care services.59 Conversely, some evidence suggests that those who are able to escape areas of concentrated poverty enjoy better outcomes. For example, since the 1970s, Montgomery County, Maryland has fostered the production of affordable housing (including federally subsidized public housing) in affluent neighborhoods through inclusionary zoning. Children in public housing who attended the county’s most advantaged schools performed better in math and reading than did public housing residents who attended the county’s least advantaged schools and significantly reduced their achievement gap compared with nonpoor students.60

These racial disparities in access to education, healthcare, and high-value housing create racial disparities in income, wealth, and mobility. Shapiro, Meschede, and Osoro find that the primary drivers of the black-white wealth gap are years of homeownership, income, unemployment, college education, and financial inheritance, all of which can be directly or indirectly shaped by past and present housing discrimination and segregation.61

The high costs of segregation are borne not only by residents in racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty but also by the larger community. The negative health, employment, and crime outcomes common to these areas exacerbate the burden on the public health, welfare, and criminal justice systems.62 Unequal educational and employment opportunities result in an underdeveloped labor force, and, as Squires writes, “[h]igh levels of racial segregation reduce the economic productivity of regional economies.”63 Recent research by Li, Campbell, and Fernandez finds that racial segregation negatively affects economic growth in both cities and suburbs.64

Fair Housing and Opportunity for All

Given the high individual, household, and societal costs of enduring segregation, desegregation must remain a policy priority. Antidiscrimination enforcement is essential to ensuring true housing choice, but is not designed to combat segregation — particularly, the formation and persistence of racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty. In addition to its antidiscrimination provisions, the Fair Housing Act created parameters for more proactive approaches to fair housing policy under its mandate that all federal agencies operate “in a manner affirmatively to further” the purposes of the Fair Housing Act; that is, “to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all.”65

Subsequent legislation and the interpretation of the courts has reinforced that both HUD and HUD grantees — the states, localities, and other organizations that receive federal funding — have an obligation to affirmatively further fair housing, including the promotion of “truly integrated and balanced living patterns.”66 In 1987, writing the decision for NAACP v. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, then-circuit judge Stephen Breyer concluded that the “broader goal [of the Fair Housing Act] suggests an intent that HUD do more than simply not discriminate itself; it reflects the desire to have HUD use its grant programs to assist in ending discrimination and segregation, to the point where the supply of genuinely open housing increases.”67

The primary mechanisms by which HUD uses its grant programs to affirmatively further fair housing have been to require that grantees conduct an “analysis of impediments” (AI) to fair housing choice and for the participants to certify that they will affirmatively further fair housing. Analysis by HUD, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), and other stakeholders, however, has found these mechanisms to be largely ineffective.68 Too often, HUD determined, grantees either had inadequate strategies for furthering fair housing or were not furthering fair housing at all.69 The AI process, according to a GAO survey, lacked adequate guidance, technical assistance, and oversight from HUD; consequently, AIs were poorly integrated into planning efforts, and many were severely outdated.70 Out of the 441 AIs that GAO reviewed in 2010, 29 percent were dated from 2004 or earlier, with fully 11 percent of the total dating back to the 1990s.71

HUD has recognized these criticisms and is committed to improving the AI process. Since the beginning of FY 2010, HUD has reviewed the AIs of hundreds of jurisdictions and has conducted dozens of compliance reviews to ensure that grantees are affirmatively furthering fair housing goals.72 The agency is currently reviewing comments on proposals related to the goal of affirmatively furthering fair housing and is considering its next steps. Even so, it remains important to recognize that, as Casey Dawkins, associate professor of urban studies and planning at the University of Maryland, puts it, “[t]he tools that have the largest impact on segregation outcomes — zoning, infrastructure decisions, [and so on] — are really locally driven.”73 Localities such as Louisville, Kentucky have taken the initiative in assessing how municipal planning can further fair housing and reduce segregation. Building off of a thorough 2010 AI, the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission developed “Making Louisville Home for Us All: A 20-Year Action Plan for Fair Housing.” Prepared by the University of Louisville Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition with funding from HUD, the plan outlines short-, medium-, and long-term actions to promote fair housing ranging from community education and engagement to steps to increase the supply of affordable housing. The plan infuses the policies and practices of the Louisville metropolitan area’s many government departments and agencies with a focus on affirmatively furthering fair housing.74 Such proactive efforts to reduce segregation through local planning processes such as residential and transportation development coupled with antidiscrimination enforcement hold the promise of creating true fair housing choice.

Public opinion data show increasing acceptance of diverse residential patterns, and incidences of discrimination appear to be declining. However, housing discrimination and segregation persist, limiting equal opportunity and contributing to growing economic inequality. Where one lives still determines access to amenities, resources, and opportunities and consequently creates disparities in important life outcomes. The response to this association of place and opportunity is twofold: first, ensuring that people have the mobility and fair housing choice to access amenity-rich neighborhoods, and second, striving to make every neighborhood a desirable, well-resourced, opportunity-rich neighborhood. Fair housing policy furthers both of these objectives. Carr and Kutty, editors of Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, state that “enforcing fair housing and fair lending laws is one of the most direct means to improve access to opportunities and, by extension, economic and social mobility in America.”75 Among other things, making neighborhoods more desirable depends on equal access to credit for buying and rehabilitating homes, on fair foreclosure processes and maintenance of real estate owned properties, and on the judicious siting of subsidized housing. And nondiscrimination and equitable distribution of affordable, high-quality housing are crucial to opening access to low-poverty, high-asset neighborhoods for all. Both the enforcement efforts of HUD, FHAP, and FHIP to eliminate discriminatory treatment in housing transactions and proactive local efforts to reduce barriers to housing choice will be necessary to ensure fair housing and equal opportunity.

Related Information:

Evolution of Federal Strategies To Promote Fair Housing

  1. Owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members may be exempt.
  2. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2011. “Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Discriminatory Effects Standard,” Federal Register 76:221 (November 16), 70924.
  3. Fred Freiberg. 2013. “Racial Discrimination in Housing: Underestimated and Overlooked,” Fair Housing Justice Center, 7.
  4. National Fair Housing Alliance. 2004. “2004 Fair Housing Trends Report,” National Fair Housing Alliance, 4–5. NFHA and others believe that attempts to quantify the incidence of discrimination such as HUD’s Housing Discrimination Study under count discrimination. See also, Freiberg.
  5. Margery Austin Turner, Rob Santos, Diane K. Levy, Doug Wissoker, Claudia Aranda, Rob Pitingolo, and the Urban Institute. 2013. Housing Discrimination Against Racial and Ethnic Minorities 2012, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, xix, xxii.
  6. Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton. 1993. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 96–7.
  7. Turner et al. 2013, xi, xiv–xvi.
  8. Gary A. Dymski. 2009. “Racial Exclusion and the Political Economy of the Subprime Crisis,” Historical Materialism 17:2, 150.
  9. Thomas P. Boehm, Paul D. Thistle, and Alan Schlottmann. 2006. “Rates and Race: An Analysis of Racial Disparities in Mortgage Rates,” Housing Policy Debate 17:1, 144; James B. Kau, Donald C. Keenan, and Henry J. Munneke. 2012. “Racial Discrimination and Mortgage Lending,” Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 45:2, 289–304; William C. Apgar Jr., Christopher E. Herbert, and Priti Mathur. 2009. “Risk or Race: An Assessment of Subprime Lending Patterns in Nine Metropolitan Areas,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, iii.
  10. Andra C. Ghent, Rubén Hernández-Murillo, and Michael T. Owyang. 2014. “Differences in Subprime Loan Pricing Across Races and Neighborhoods,” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Kathleen C. Engel and Patricia A. McCoy. 2008. “From Credit Denial to Predatory Lending,” in Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, ed. James H. Carr and Nandinee K. Kutty, New York: Routledge, 92.
  11. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2011. “Annual Report on Fair Housing, Fiscal Year 2011,” 19.
  12. Margery Austin Turner, Carla Herbig, Deborah Kaye, Julie Fenderson, and Diane Levy. 2005. Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities: Barriers at Every Step, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, 2–3, 26.
  13. The Equal Rights Center and National Council of La Raza. 2013. “Puertas Cerradas: Housing Barriers for Hispanics.”
  14. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2011. “Annual Report on Fair Housing, Fiscal Year 2011,” 19.
  15. Samantha Friedman, Angela Reynolds, Susan Scovill, Florence R. Brassier, Ron Campbell, and McKenzie Ballou. 2013. “An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, iv, 1; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2012. “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” Federal Register 77:23 (February 3), 5662.
  16. Tamica H. Daniel. 2010. “Bringing Real Choices to the Housing Choice Voucher Program: Addressing Voucher Discrimination Under the Federal Fair Housing Act,” The Georgetown Law Journal 98:3, 770–1, 776.
  17. Ibid., 771.
  18. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 1998. “Fair Housing Enforcement — Occupancy Standards Notice of Statement of Policy,” Federal Register 63:243 (December 18), 70256; Jonathan Rothwell and Douglas S. Massey. 2009. “The Effect of Density Zoning on Racial Segregation in U.S. Urban Areas,” Urban Affairs Review 44:6, 779–806.
  19. Rothwell and Massey, 801.
  20. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. “Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Discriminatory Effects Standard,” Federal Register 78:32 (February 15), 11460.
  21. Robert G. Schwemm and Sara K. Pratt. 2009. “Disparate Impact under the Fair Housing Act: A Proposed Approach,” National Fair Housing Alliance, 31–41.
  22. Fair Housing Act, 1968, Pub. L. 90–284, Section 808 (d), Section 813.
  23. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2011. “Annual Report on Fair Housing, Fiscal Year 2011,” 16, 42.
  24. National Fair Housing Alliance. 2013. “Modernizing the Fair Housing Act for the 21st Century: 2013 Fair Housing Trends Report,” 23.
  25. Ibid., 43; National Fair Housing Alliance. 2012. “Fair Housing in a Changing Nation,” 23; Robert Mark Silverman and Kelly L. Patterson. 2012. “The Four Horsemen of the Fair Housing Apocalypse: A Critique of Fair Housing Policy in the USA,” Critical Sociology 38:1, 130.
  26. Silverman and Patterson, 124.
  27. Stephen L. Ross and George C. Galster. 2007. “Fair Housing Enforcement and Changes in Discrimination between 1989 and 2000: An Exploratory Study,” in Fragile Rights within Cities: Government, Housing, and Fairness, ed. John Goering, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 179; Martin Abravanel. 2006. Do We Know More Now? Trends in Public Knowledge, Support, and Use of Fair Housing Law, Washington, DC: U.S. Depart­ment of Housing and Urban Development, 36–7.
  28. Silverman and Patterson, 128.
  29. National Fair Housing Alliance, 2004, 4–5; Olatunde Johnson. 2011. “The Last Plank: Rethinking Public and Private Power to Advance Fair Housing,” University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 13:5, 1202–3; Michael Schill. 2007. “Implementing the Federal Fair Housing Act: The Adjudication of Complaints,” in Goering, 169.
  30. Ross and Galster, 190.
  31. Turner et al. 2013, xxiii.
  32. Maria Krysan. 2011. “Data Update to Racial Attitudes in America.” An update and website to complement Howard Schuman, Charlotte Steeh, Lawrence Bobo, and Maria Krysan. Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations. Rev. ed., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997; Abravanel.
  33. Edward Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor. 2012. “The End of the Segregated Century: Racial Separation in America’s Neighborhoods, 1890-2010,” Civic Report 66, Center for State and Local Leadership at the Manhattan Institute, 1; For an explanation of the dissimilarity index, see Douglas S. Massey, Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina. 2009. “The Changing Bases of Segregation in the United States,” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 626:1, 76.
  34. Paul A. Jargowsky. 2014. “Segregation, Neighborhoods, and Schools,” in Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools, eds. Annette Lareau and Kimberly Goyette, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 103–6.
  35. Jorge De la Roca, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2013. “Race and Neighborhoods in the 21st Century: What Does Segregation Mean Today?” Regional Science and Urban Economics, 3. Corrected proof available at Accessed 3 June 2014.
  36. John R. Logan and Brian J. Stults. 2011. “The Persistence of Segregation in the Metropolis: New Findings from the 2010 Census,” Census Brief prepared for Project US2010, 3.
  37. Andrew L. Spivak and Shannon M. Monnat. 2013. “The Influence of Race, Class, and Metropolitan Area Characteristics on African-American Residential Segregation,” Social Science Quarterly 94:5, 1415; Casey J. Dawkins. 2004. “Recent Evidence on the Continuing Causes of Black-White Residential Segregation,” Journal of Urban Affairs 26:3, 379–80.
  38. Dawkins 2004, 395–6.
  39. Stephen L. Ross. 2011. “Understanding Racial Segregation: What Is Known About the Effect of Housing Discrimination?” in Neighborhood and Life Chances: How Place Matters in Modern America, eds. Harriet Newburger, Eugenie Ladner Birch, and Susan M. Wachter, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 300; Engel and McCoy, 85.
  40. Dawkins, 2004, 395–6; Camille Zubrinsky Charles. 2003. “The Dynamics of Racial Residential Segregation,” Annual Review of Sociology 29, 177; Gregory D. Squires. 2008. “Fair Housing Enforcement Efforts,” in Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, 308.
  41. Spivak and Monnat, 1432.
  42. Ibid.
  43. John R. Logan. 2011. “Separate and Unequal: The Neighborhood Gap for Blacks, Hispanics and Asians in Metropolitan America,” US2010 Project, 1.
  44. Dawkins, 2004, 395–6; Maria Krysan, Mick P. Couper, Reynolds Farley, and Tyrone A. Forman. 2009. “Does Race Matter in Neighborhood Preferences? Results from a Video Experiment,” American Journal of Sociology 115:2, 528.
  45. David M. Cutler, Edward L. Glaeser, and Jacob L. Vigdor. 1999. “The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto,” Journal of Political Economy 107:3, 476, 487.
  46. David Card, Alexandre Mas, and Jesse Rothstein. 2008. “Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 123:1, 212.
  47. Patrick Sharkey. 2012. “Temporary Integration, Resilient Inequality: Race and Neighborhood Change in the Transition to Adulthood,” Demography 49:3, 907–8.
  48. Glaeser and Vigdor, 2.
  49. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2011. “Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Discriminatory Effects Standard,” 70924.
  50. National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. 2008. The Future of Fair Housing: Report of the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, 40; Keren M. Horn and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2011. “The Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Racial Segregation,” Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
  51. Casey J. Dawkins. 2011. Exploring the Spatial Distribution of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Properties, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, iii.
  52. Letter, Terri Ludwig, Enterprise Community Partners, Michael Rubinger, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and Michael Bodaken, National Housing Trust, to Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 17 September 2013.
  53. James H. Carr and Nandinee K. Kutty. 2008. “The New Imperative for Equality,” in Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, 17; Eugenie L. Birch, Harriet B. Newburger, and Susan M. Wachter. 2011. “Preface” in Newburger, et al., xii.
  54. Kendra Bischoff and Sean F. Reardon. 2013. “Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009,” US2010, 33–4.
  55. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” Federal Register 78:139 (July 19), 43714.
  56. David M. Cutler and Edward L. Glaeser. 1997. “Are Ghettos Good or Bad?The Quarterly Journal of Economics 112:3, 827.
  57. Margery Austin Turner. 2008. “Residential Segregation and Employment Inequality,” in Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, 167.
  58. David Card and Jesse Rothstein. 2007. “Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap,” Journal of Public Economics 91:11–12, 2158; Geoffrey T. Wodtke, David J. Harding, and Felix Elwert. 2011. “Neighborhood Effects in Temporal Perspective: The Impact of Long-Term Exposure to Concentrated Disadvantage on High School Graduation,” American Sociological Review 76:5, 713.
  59. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia and Theresa L. Osypuk. 2008. “Impacts of Housing on Health,” in Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, 199; Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Kimberly A. Lochner, Theresa L. Osypuk, and S.V. Subramanian. 2003. “Future Directions in Residential Segregation and Health Research: A Multilevel Approach,” American Journal of Public Health 93:2, 215; Darrell J. Gaskin, Gniesha Y. Dinwiddie, Kitty S. Chan, and Rachael R. McCleary. 2012. “Residential Segregation and the Availability of Primary Care Physicians,” Health Services Research 47:6, 2369.
  60. Heather Schwartz. 2010. Housing Policy Is School Policy: Economically Integrative Housing Promotes Academic Success in Montgomery County, Maryland, New York: The Century Foundation, 4–5.
  61. Thomas Shapiro, Tatjana Meschede, and Sam Osoro. 2013. “The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide,” Institute on Assets and Social Policy, 1.
  62. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” 43714.
  63. Squires, 309.
  64. Huiping Li, Harrison Campbell, and Steven Fernandez. 2013. “Residential Segregation, Spatial Mismatch and Economic Growth across US Metropolitan Areas,” Urban Studies 50:13, 2642, 2655.
  65. Fair Housing Act, 1968, Pub. L. 90–284, Section 808 (d), (e) (5); U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” 43710.
  66. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” 43712; Philip D. Tegeler. 2005. “The Persistence of Segregation in Government Housing Programs,” in The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America, ed. Xavier de Sousa Briggs, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 197; Otero v. N.Y. City Housing Authority, 484 F.2d 1122 (2d Cir. 1973); Shannon v. HUD, 436 F.2d 809 (3d Cir. 1970); Austin W. King. 2013. “Affirmatively Further: Reviving the Fair Housing Act’s Integrationist Purpose,” New York University Law Review 88:6, 2184; Trafficante v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 409 U.S. 205, 211 (1972); The decision quotes the bill’s sponsor, Walter Mondale, regarding the aim of integration. Mondale, Congressional Record, 90th Cong., 2d sess., 1968, 114: 3422.
  67. NAACP v Secretary of HUD, 817 F. 2d 149 (1st Cir. 1987).
  68. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” 43710; National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, 44.
  69. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2013. “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” 43725.
  70. Ibid., 43713.
  71. U.S. Government Accountability Office. 2010. Housing and Community Grants: HUD Needs to Enhance Its Requirements and Oversight of Jurisdictions’ Fair Housing Plans.
  72. Poverty & Race Research Action Council. 2013. “Af­firmatively Furthering Fair Housing at HUD: A First Term Report Card, Part II,” 10.
  73. Interview with Casey Dawkins, April 2014.
  74. University of Louisville Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research. 2013. “Making Louisville Home for Us All: A 20-Year Action Plan for Fair Housing,” Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission, 1–2, 45–6.
  75. James H. Carr and Nandinee K. Kutty. 2008. “Attaining a Just (and Economically Secure) Society,” in Segregation: The Rising Costs for America, 325.


Evidence Matters Home              Next Article

The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.