Fair Housing Linked to Health, Education, Transit, Wealth, and Job Opportunities

May 28, 2015
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In its 2015 Fair Housing Trends Report, “Where You Live Matters,” the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) emphasizes the link between fair housing and access to a quality education, transit options, health care, job opportunities, and healthy food.

The report analyzes the most recent data on housing discrimination complaints. Last year, there were 27,528 fair housing complaints, consistent with the number filed in recent years. Discrimination against people with disabilities made up the majority (51.8 percent) of all complaints with 14,272 instances reported. Discrimination based on race came in second, with 6,044 complaints. Nonprofit fair housing groups investigated the majority (69 percent) of housing discrimination complaints, more than twice as many as all government agencies combined.

Other key highlights of the report:

·      Access to mortgage credit is at an historic low, especially for people of color, which affects the personal accumulation of wealth and the ability of neighborhoods to recover from the foreclosure crisis.

·      Persistent housing discrimination limits opportunities in other areas, such as quality schools and employment, for people of color, persons with disabilities, and families with children.

·      There is a strong correlation between place and opportunity, and segregated communities of color have been the targets of disinvestment, predatory schemes, redlining, and harmful zoning policies that all work to destabilize these areas.

“Where we live determines quite a lot about how we live, and this fact makes housing discrimination an especially harmful problem in our society,” Shanna L. Smith, NFHA’s President and CEO, said in a statement. “The schools children attend, the quality of the air we breathe and water we drink, our access to jobs and reliable transportation, and the chance to build wealth through homeownership are important factors that vary widely depending on place. Inequality persists in all of these areas along racial and ethnic lines, which means that we need an all-out strategy to build up neighborhoods and provide a range of safe and affordable housing options for all Americans.”

The NFHA’s 2015 Trends Report is available on its website here.

Source: National Fair Housing Alliance