Housing Perpetuates Racial Segregation, Group Says

A Dallas-based civil-rights group is charging the largest affordable-housing rental program in Texas with perpetuating racial segregation and asking the courts to require an equal number of tax-credit projects in non-minority areas as there are in minority areas.

The suit, filed against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in March by the Inclusive Communities Project Inc., claims that the department has allowed too many housing tax credit-financed projects to be built in urban areas with high levels of crime and poverty.

According to ICP President Elizabeth K. Julian, areas like the mostly white Dallas suburbs have a high proportion of apartment complexes that do not accept Section 8 rental vouchers. “The issue of segregation in the tax-credit program is obviously not a news flash,” Julian told Shelterforce, “and this is just another example of the greater problem.”

Julian said that her organization has not sued any landlords in the past three years for rejecting vouchers, but she would not rule out that option. For now, “this is about addressing the role of the state and the tax-credit program as a barrier of being able to find high-quality housing,” Julian said.

Shelterforce is the only independent, non-academic publication covering the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.


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