Californians continue to live with the legacy of segregation and housing inequality. People of color and immigrants face barriers to neighborhoods with well-funded schools, playgrounds, and other amenities. Neighborhoods of color are denied a fair share of public resources and suffer from unclean water and air. Gentrification is forcing people of color out of their historic neighborhoods.
To combat this inequality, the civil rights leaders of the 1960s passed a federal requirement to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). AFFH calls for governments to take active steps to overcome inequality in housing. Under President Obama, the federal government adopted a new AFFH Rule that modernized and reinvigorated this requirement.
In January 2018, the Trump Administration suspended the federal AFFH Rule - effectively undermining President Obama's push for civil rights in housing and threatening to perpetuate housing inequality here in California.
California Assembly Member Miguel Santiago put forward Assembly Bill 686 to introduce a mandate to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing into state law. With federal implementation of AFFH gutted, the bill will insulate Californians from federal attacks on civil rights. The bill would enlist all government bodies in California in creating more equal housing choices for people regardless of their race, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.
Check out some more information about the bill:
Photo: Joe Mabel
"Adam Ruins the Suburbs"
Redlining: the racist housing policy from the Jim Crow era that still affects us today.