PRRAC Update  

August 20, 2015    


Continuing advocacy in the federal executive branch:  As the election year approaches, the federal regulatory process moves with increasing urgency. In the past few weeks, we've submitted detailed comments on the proposed new Head Start performance standards (which include classroom diversity for the first time), submitted joint comments with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on important new Section 8 Administrative Fee policies, and joined with the Lawyers Committee and the National Fair Housing Alliance in comments on the HUD Assessment Tool to be used by jurisdictions that report to HUD under the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule released this summer. 

Section 8 Portability:  Also, this morning, HUD finally issued the final rule on "Streamlining the Portability Process" for Housing Choice Vouchers that move across jurisdictional lines, recognizing that "for the HCV program's goals to support mobility and housing choice to be realized, the regulations governing the portability process must be clarified so that the burden on families and the PHA is reduced."   The final rule does not adopt all the affirmative provisions we had advocated for at the proposed rule stage, but it does streamline the administrative process, allows more time for families who are "porting", requires PHAs to brief all families on the benefits of living in lower poverty neighborhoods, and importantly, requires PHAs to provide apartment or landlord listings that "cover areas outside of poverty or minority concentration."  Unfortunately, the rule did not eliminate the discriminatory practice of "rescreening" tenants by the receiving housing authority - so this will likely be resolved through local litigation.   
Leveraging Fair Housing Policies to Promote Better Health Outcomes: Join the National Collaborative for Health Equity for a webinar exploring the connection between fair housing planning, housing mobility, and public health. Featuring Phil Tegeler, PRRAC; Craig Pollack, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Demetria McCain, Inclusive Communities Project, Dallas. Register here.

Other Resources
Moving in the wrong direction:  A new report from the Century Foundation, Architecture of Segregation: Civil Unrest, the Concentration of Poverty, and Public Policy, by Paul Jargowsky, highlights the continuing trend toward increased concentrated poverty in the United States - highlighting the importance of the new HUD fair housing rule, and the urgent need for reform of HUD and Treasury Department housing programs.
Disparities in physical education in California:  an innovative Title VI complaint filed by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the City Project in Los Angeles, and four other groups highlights significant disparities in physical fitness opportunities for African American and Latino children in California (echoing national findings in a recent report on girls' sports opportunities from PRRAC and the National Women's Law Center).
Hurricane Katrina and the shift to Section 8 vouchers in New Orleans: On the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center has issued an excellent report looking back at the dramatic shift from public housing to Housing Choice Vouchers in New Orleans, and the need for a more proactive fair housing effort:   New Orleans Index at Ten:  Expanding Choice and Opportunity in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

School Diversity Conference coming soon!

Register today
for the National Coalition on School Diversity's Third National Conference: 
Friday, September 25 at Howard Law School (with opening reception Thursday Sept 24 at the Mayflower Hotel). 

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