"Fight Exclusionary Zoning to Make Headway Against Inequality"—Inside Philanthropy


         EHI called “one obvious candidate for funding”


Inside Philanthropy urges funders to support EHI’s efforts to break the grip of exclusionary zoning and other exclusionary housing policies on housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income people. Kiersten Marek, Memo to Funders: Fight Exclusionary Zoning to Make Headway Against Inequality, Inside Philanthropy (March 3, 2015), posted at: http://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2015/3/3/memo-to-funders-fight-exclusionary-zoning-to-make-headway-ag.html.

The article notes that the harmful grip of exclusionary housing policies is especially evident in the suburbs, where most jobs now are located. 

. . . Seventy-five percent of extremely low-income families now spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing, and affordable housing is incredibly scarce in middle and high income communities where the best public schools often are.

One result is that families of color are often trapped in poor neighborhoods with poor schools, and racial segregation in K-12 is as bad as ever in many places. In fact, right now, New York State—with its high housing costs and stratified communities—has the most segregated schools in the entire country.

The article points out that a “big reason for a scarcity of affordable housing, and more integrated U.S. communities, is exclusionary zoning laws, which block high-density housing in largely affluent white suburbs, keeping out people of color and low-income people in general.” Inside Philanthropy urges funders to “realize that residential stratification, and the legal regime that supports it, is a key driver of inequality, particularly in education,” and to “get more serious about addressing this problem.”

And one obvious candidate for funding? Thomas Loftus and the Equitable Housing Institute. With the organization's detailed research on housing law, and its ability to help municipalities take a hard look at their assumptions and priorities, EHI has an important role to play in the fight for fair housing.

[Emphasis added] To read the very insightful article in its entirety, you may click on the link above.