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Advocating for Housing Justice

Housing remains a critical determinant of opportunity, impacting health, access to employment, and access to quality education, among many other factors. However, entrenched residential segregation by race remains a critical challenge for many cities across the country.  Segregation cuts communities of color and low-income residents off from critical opportunities. Low income residents, and particularly immigrant residents and residents of color, find themselves relegated to neighborhoods plagued by abysmal housing conditions, overcrowding, and landlord neglect.  An ongoing crisis of...

Housing remains a critical determinant of opportunity, impacting health, access to employment, and access to quality education, among many other factors. However, entrenched residential segregation by race remains a critical challenge for many cities across the country.  Segregation cuts communities of color and low-income residents off from critical opportunities. Low income residents, and particularly immigrant residents and residents of color, find themselves relegated to neighborhoods plagued by abysmal housing conditions, overcrowding, and landlord neglect.  An ongoing crisis of affordability further squeezes working families. Rents have risen faster than wages, and pressures of gentrification push lower-income renters farther to the margins.  The foreclosure crisis continues to impact working families who find themselves desperately trying to cover mortgage payments on underwater properties. The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) is working with our partners on the ground to tackle these enduring challenges for communities of color.New York Metro Region: with support from the Ford Foundation, CPD is working closely with community-based organizations and policy groups in Long Island, New York City and the Hudson Valley to envision and drive a truly regional approach to tackling both enduring residential segregation and affirmatively furthering fair housing, while driving real community revitalization within low-income neighborhoods of color. Our current work includes:

  • Testing existing source-of-income policies at the city and county level;
  • Driving new source-of-income anti-discrimination policies at the county and state level;
  • Winning improved code enforcement to ensure safe and healthy homes for all; and
  • Analyzing whether workforce housing policies in Long Island actually deliver truly affordable housing and break down segregation barriers.

We are also supporting groups like Erase Racism and New York Communities for Change to track how the influx of post-Sandy funds are actually being spent in Long Island, and whether they are furthering fair housing and affordable housing goals.Fair Housing Equity Assessment Advisory Committee for the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium: Following guidelines of HUD, the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium has brought together 17 cities, counties and metropolitan planning organizations to create more livable communities through coordinated housing, transportation, economic development and environmental planning. A core component of the Consortium’s work is the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA), an inclusive process to analyze segregation patterns and opportunity disparities in the region and strategies for change. CPD has joined the Advisory Committee to the Consortium.Solutions to the Foreclosure Crisis: CPD is playing a legal, research, and strategy support role to partners on the ground organizing for meaningful solutions to the on-going foreclosure crisis. Click here to learn more about the innovative campaign to use local authority of eminent domain as a tool to reduce the amount homeowners owe on their mortgages.

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