Houston Matters

Is Housing Segregation Happening in Houston?

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a lawsuit challenging decisions by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The department awarded tax credits for low-income housing in Dallas to encourage new affordable housing in blighted areas using race-neutral criteria. A group called the Inclusive Communities Project sued, saying the agency approved more applications in […]

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a lawsuit challenging decisions by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The department awarded tax credits for low-income housing in Dallas to encourage new affordable housing in blighted areas using race-neutral criteria. A group called the Inclusive Communities Project sued, saying the agency approved more applications in minority neighborhoods than in affluent, white neighborhoods. The group argues this is the equivalent of intentional racial segregation. The department, of course, disagrees.

There have been a number of amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs filed on this, on both sides. Some allege that if the High Court should side with the Inclusive Communities project, it might, in essence, lead to a requirement of racial quotas in housing. And underlying this case is a basic question: What do civil rights really establish – a fair playing field, or a proportionate result?

Today we discuss the case with Michael Lindenberger, Washington correspondent for business for the Dallas Morning News, and Craig Jackson, a Professor of Law at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

Then we consider whether there’s unintended segregation in housing by race or class – or both – here in Houston. We welcome your thoughts for Susan Rogers, Professor of Architecture at the University of Houston, and Assata Richards, Board Vice Chair for the Houston Housing Authority and Program Director for Project Row Houses. She’s also Director of the Sankofa Research Institute.

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