Under Trump, NYC’s fair housing advocates prepare for setbacks

Fair housing advocates fear they are about to lose resources they need to fight housing discrimination

Donald Trump and Ben Carson
Donald Trump and Ben Carson

With a president now in the White House who was once sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination in housing, advocates for fair housing are worried rollbacks are coming.

“There were a lot of strides made within HUD during the Obama administration to improve fair housing enforcement,” Sally Santangelo, the executive director of CNY Fair Housing, which serves Central and Northern New York, told the New York Times. “I am concerned that those would be rolled back or defunded.”

Private nonprofit organizations that investigate and bring fair housing cases forward are anticipating drastic cuts in federal funding. More worrying still, they say changes to federal guidelines, potentially allowing local communities and landlords to discriminate, could be on their way, according to the New York Times.

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New York City’s Fair Housing Justice Center is the organization that brings the majority of housing discrimination cases forward. They point out that New York City is the third-most segregated city in the United States. The average white person lives in a neighborhood that is more than 60 percent white, according to an analysis of 2010 census data.

“Most everybody would like to pretend that there’s not any problem with fair housing anymore: We passed the laws, there’s no segregation anymore, that was my grandfather’s problem, but we fixed it,” John Logan, a sociology professor at Brown University, told the Times.

“While some may say, ‘Oh, the sky is falling, because the Trump administration is so terrible,’ my view is that it will be terrible, like all the others,” Logan said, referring to the inaction of previous administrations. [NYT] Christopher Cameron