Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest
As a whole, Hispanics are disproportionately concentrated in the lowest-opportunity neighborhoods in U.S. metro areas. However, reflecting this ethnic group's diversity, there is great variation by national origin in their distribution across different levels of neighborhood opportunity. Explore Hispanic diversity in terms of access to neighborhoods of opportunity for two dozen Hispanic-origin subgroups across the 100 largest metro areas with new indicators and visualizations by diversitydatakids.org.
Low-income families who use housing subsidies to move from struggling to thriving communities represent perhaps the country’s best shot at breaking intergenerational poverty. Landmark research from Harvard University last year showed that children from poor families who make the transition at a young age are more likely to go to college, less likely to become single parents, and earn more money than those who remain behind.
The choices that black families make today are inevitably constrained by a legacy of racism that prevented their ancestors from buying quality housing and then passing down wealth that might have allowed today’s generation to move into more stable communities. And even when black households try to cross color boundaries, they are not always met with open arms: Studies have shown that white people prefer to live in communities where there are fewer black people, regardless of their income.
Intergenerational privilege is rooted in place -- in the home values and tax base, the schools and transportation networks available to people because of where they are fortunate to live. Decades of white flight, suburbanization, the abandonment of urban centers and regressive housing policies have contributed to a pervasive disconnectionacross racial, ethnic and class lines. This segregation has reinforced the corrosive effects of historical prejudice and biases that already divide society and make Americans, in effect, strangers to each other. It should come as no surprise, then, that the social landscapes of university communities are just as divided.
We are witnessing a nationwide return of concentrated poverty that is racial in nature. This report finds that high-poverty ghettos and barrios are the inevitable and predictable consequences of deliberate policy choices.
In this season of anniversaries, no two are more stark in their parallels than Ferguson a year after the shooting of Michael Brown and New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.
The Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) has generated mappings of the child poverty concentration in Detroit, by race and ethnicity, for the years 2000 and 1990.
Responding to concerns that the conditions in black, lower-income neighborhoods contributed to the problems that sparked the unrest after Mr. Brown’s death, the Ferguson Commission, convened by Gov. Jay Nixon, recently proposed measures to promote more integrated housing, including vigorously enforcing fair housing laws to reduce discriminatory lending practices.
It is tempting to look for signs of America’s direction in the late June ritual of reading the U.S. Supreme Court’s most momentous decisions of the term. Last week’s rulings in support of marriage equality, fair housing and Obamacare would suggest that on fundamental issues of daily life — the equal status of all love, the idea of housing as a link to life chances and the opening of access to healthcare for millions — the United States just took a giant step toward updating the constitutional principle of liberty with dignity. What occurred, however, was more accident than deliberate progress.

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