Category Archives: Race

New Article: The New Housing Segregation: The Jim Crow Effects of Crime-Free Housing Ordinances

New Article: Deborah N. Archer, The New Housing Segregation: The Jim Crow Effects of Crime-Free Housing Ordinances, forthcoming Mich. L. Rev. Abstract below:

America is profoundly segregated along racial lines. We attend separate schools, live in separate neighborhoods, attend different churches, and shop at different stores. This rigid racial segregation results in social, economic, and resource inequality, with White communities of opportunity on the one hand, and many communities of color without access to quality schools, jobs, transportation, or health care on the other. Many people view this as an unfortunate fact of life, or as a relic of legal systems long-since overturned, and beyond the reach of current legal process. But this is not true. On the contrary, the law continues to play a profound role in creating and legitimizing patterns of racial segregation all across America. Crime-free housing ordinances are one of the most salient examples of the role law plays in producing and sustaining racial segregation today. They are, in this respect, a critical mechanism for effectuating the new housing segregation.

Crime-free housing ordinances are local laws that either encourage or require private landlords to evict or exclude tenants who have had varying levels of contact with the criminal legal system. Though formally race neutral, these laws facilitate racial segregation in a number of significant ways. This is the first law review article to explain precisely how they do so. The Article contends that crime-free housing ordinances enable racial segregation by importing the racial biases, racial logics, and racial disparities of the criminal legal system into private housing markets. While scholars have examined the important role local laws played in effectuating racial inequality, they have not paid attention to crime-free housing ordinances. In addition to foregrounding how crime-free housing ordinances reinforce and perpetuate racially segregated communities, this Article proposes an intervention: a “segregative effects” claim, an underutilized cause of action under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, to challenge this segregative impact. While this intervention would not end the pervasive nature of housing segregation across the United States, it could eliminate at least one of the causes of this persistent problem: a body of law whose formal race neutrality has obscured its racially segregative effects.

News Coverage of Poverty: ‘You can’t win’: the parents working full-time – and struggling to survive

poverty youthNews Coverage of Poverty: Chris McGreal, ‘You can’t win’: the parents working full-time – and struggling to survive, The Guardian, Apr. 30, 2019.

News Coverage: San Francisco Had an Ambitious Plan to Tackle School Segregation. It Made It Worse.

News Coverage: Dana Goldstein, San Francisco Had an Ambitious Plan to Tackle School Segregation. It Made It Worse., N.Y. Times, Apr. 25, 2019.

News Coverage: The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The Home Buyers Are Mostly White.

News Coverage: Emily Badger et al., The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The Home Buyers Are Mostly White., N.Y. Times, Apr. 27, 2019. Very good reporting with an interesting map of the entire United States that is searchable by zip code.

News Coverage: The Other Segregation

News Coverage: Whitney Pirtle, The Other Segregation, The Atlantic, Apr. 23, 2019.

Note: when I teach poverty law, I often use the tracking example to make debates about education and opportunity personal. Many law students were tracked in K-12 to high level classes and for some lower income students tracking provided a way out. The discussion tends to be lively.

News Coverage of Poverty: What the Supreme Court Said About the 2020 Census Citizenship Question

News Coverage of Poverty: Kriston Capps, What the Supreme Court Said About the 2020 Census Citizenship Question, CityLab.com, Apr. 23, 2019.

New Op-Ed: Winning the War on Poverty

New Op-Ed: David Brooks, Winning the War on Poverty, NYTimes.com, Apr. 4, 2019.  The Canadians are doing it; we’re not.

New Report: Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide

coverNew Report: Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide (April 2019).

-Thanks to Francine Lipman for the heads up.

New Blog Post: How Families With Kids Drive Suburban Segregation

New Blog Post: Richard Florida, How Families With Kids Drive Suburban Segregation, CityLab.com, Apr. 9, 2019.

New Blog Post: How ‘Heartland Visas’ Could Reduce Geographic Inequality

heartland visas.jpgNew Blog Post: Richard Florida, How ‘Heartland Visas’ Could Reduce Geographic Inequality, CityLab.com, Apr. 11, 2019.