PRRAC Update  

December 18, 2014   


New rules on public housing demolition:  HUD has issued a proposed rule tightening up the standards for public housing agencies that seek to demolish, sell, or change the use of public housing.  We were pleased with the rule's strong emphasis on civil rights review of any proposals, and requirements for housing mobility counseling in agency relocation plans.  But we also recognized the need for improvement in several key areas of the regulation, and contributed to coalition comments submitted by the Housing Justice Network, a national network of legal services housing lawyers, civil rights lawyers and community organizers coordinated by the National Housing Law Project (PRRAC is a longtime member of HJN).


School integration in New York City?   PRRAC Policy Analyst Mike Hilton testified last week on a trio of innovative New York City Council resolutions designed to promote racial and economic integration in New York City's highly segregated public school system. Read about the bills and testimony here


New resources on include an excellent recent webinar on housing mobility from the National Fair Housing Alliance (with Alex Polikoff, Steve Norman, Barbara Samuels, Chris Klepper, and Phil Tegeler), a profile of the Innovative Chicago Regional Housing Initiative, and much more - at  



Other resources


Neighborhood effects in Denver:  A new study, Opportunity Neighborhoods for Latino and African American Children, from Anna Maria Santiago, George Galster, and colleagues at Case Western Reserve and Wayne State Universities has again confirmed the benefits for low income children of living in higher opportunity communities.  Like Heather Schwartz's 2010 study of children in Montgomery County Maryland, Opportunity Neighborhoods assesses a natural experiment created  by the "random" distribution of children growing up in scattered site public housing throughout a wide range of Denver neighborhoods.  Using an unusual set of neighborhood indicators (neighborhood levels of "occupational prestige," percentages of foreign-born residents, and safety related data), the study found that low income children growing up in higher opportunity neighborhoods had fewer risky behaviors, better educational performance, and improved employment rates as young adults.

Section 8 insurance discrimination: Jean Zachariasiewicz of Relman Dane & Colfax has just published a helpful article in the Banking & Financial Services Policy Report titled "Not Worth the Risk: The Legal Consequences of the Refusal to Insure Properties with Section 8 Tenants."


Human rights compliance in the US:  the U.S. Human Rights Network has released its third comprehensive annual overview of U.S. compliance with international human rights standards across every aspect of domestic policy: Advancing Human Rights: A Status Report on Human Rights in the United States.   


TOD and fair housing:  the Chicago area fair housing group Open Communities has partnered with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) on a report, Quality of Life, (e)Quality of Place, that brings a fair housing perspective to Transit-Oriented Development in the Chicago region.

Important P.S. - it's not too late to make a year end donation to PRRAC - we are a small and efficient civil rights organization that will continue to use your donations wisely to advance racial justice and social inclusion.


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