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"PRRAC Update November 13, 2014"

A dangerous appealThe Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas has the potential to undo 40 years of settled precedent under the Fair Housing Act.  The underlying case involves ICP's successful challenge to racially segregated siting of Low Income Housing Tax Credit developments in the Dallas area. The issue the court has taken on appeal is whether the Fair Housing Act can be used to challenge policies with an unjustified discriminatory impact. The Supreme Court's apparent eagerness to weigh in on this issue is especially disappointing because a) there is no disagreement on this issue in the federal appellate courts, and b) the underlying case has been resolved, with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs well into the second year of implementing a successful reform of its LIHTC allocation procedures.  The Texas plan has drawn praise from the new HUD Secretary and others, but it is now threatened by the Governor's decision to appeal.  PRRAC is part of a broad civil rights coalition working to present amicus curiae arguments to the Court.

AFFH progress at HUDWe submitted detailed coalition comments on HUD's proposed "Assessment Tool" that will be used by cities, towns and counties to address issues of racial segregation and concentrated poverty in their jurisdictions and regions.  The release of the Assessment Tool is one of the final steps before HUD's long-planned Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule can be finalized.

Regulatory advocacy at the Department of Education:  We joined with other members of the National Coalition on School Diversity to comment on the "ESEA Waiver Renewal Guidance," which will set out the conditions that the Department of Education may impose on states that wish to continue to be exempted from key requirements of No Child Left Behind (these "waivers" have been necessitated by the failure of Congress to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, which was amended by NCLB in 2001). 

In this month's Poverty & Race:  "Nowhere to Live Safe" by Barbara Samuels, Commentary on the making of Ferguson by Richard Rothstein and Greg Squires, "A Smarter Charter" by Rick Kahlenberg and Halley Potter, and a précis of PRRAC's recent HOME report.

Mapping child health determinants: Toward a Policy-Relevant Analysis of Geographic and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Child Health" by PRRAC Social Science Advisory Board members Dolores Acevedo-Garcia and David Williams (with colleagues Theresa L. Osypuk and Nancy McArdle) in the current issue of Health Affairs - and reintroducing the valuable "Child Opportunity Index," which states and local governments can use to guide affordable housing investments or target community development resources.

New research on implicit bias and racial anxiety: A powerful new report just released by the Perception Institute synthesizes and translates academic research on implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat, and how these phenomena operate in the context of K-12 education and health care.  See the full report at this link: "The Science of Equality Volume 1: Addressing Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat in Education and Health Care."


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