With the Supreme Court’s June decision to allow for discrimination lawsuits on the basis of disparate impact and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule in July, the means to increase community integration are readily available. However, the issue of integrating poorer residents into communities of middle- and upper-class residents continues to be contentious, as evidenced by today’s fair housing roundup.

  • A new poll from AP-NORC shows starkly different perceptions of police violence among different races. The study also highlights the effect that living in segregated neighborhoods has on these perceptions, suggesting that “whites who live in more racially diverse communities have more negative views of the police. Similarly, blacks who live in more diverse places have relatively more positive views.” More, the poll seems to support the belief that personally knowing someone affected by a social problem makes those people more sympathetic to people who aren’t necessarily affected by the same social problem. [WaPo]
  • On the subject of de-segregation of communities, New York Times op-ed columnist Thomas B. Edsall offers a thoughtful meditation on the state of integration in the United States. While some new information and tools have become available to promote integration of people from different economic classes, Edsall points to other analysts who fear that segregation is actually becoming worse, and that a potential backlash to new pushes for integration may be looming in the near future. [NYT]
  • Barely seven weeks following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities – a ruling that allows people to file housing discrimination complaints on the basis of disparate impact – developers in Dallas, TX, are hoping to delay the implementation of a new policy, Housing Plus, that aims to remedy housing segregation. According to Dallas developers, they would like to postpone the date the plan is take effect so as to have more “dialogue” about how it will be implemented. Fair housing advocates in Dallas, however, say that the goal of these developers is to delay Housing Plus indefinitely so as to continue to segregate low income residents into already poor neighborhoods. [Dallas Observer]
  • Finally, the trend of banks preferring to offer higher-end loans continues as JP Morgan Chase has relaxed some of the requirements needed for home buyers to obtain “jumbo” mortgages. The decision to push for these more lucrative home loans, Forbes reports, is because banks like JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo see them as easier, safer bets to make a profit. The change to banks’ mortgage requirements is still only relevant to mostly the 1%-er crowd, but the last time banks were testing new ways to increase profit out of the housing market, that didn’t turn out so well for everybody. [Forbes, Wiki]
  • (Photo: “Main Street, Hazard, Kentucky,” by Robert Hall. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)