Fair Housing

Fear of Affordable Housing

Affordable housing developments proposed for affluent communities often face bitter, lengthy legal and political battles. These battles tend to be driven by fear and exclusionary impulses. (The virulent resistance to […]

Affordable housing developments proposed for affluent communities often face bitter, lengthy legal and political battles.

These battles tend to be driven by fear and exclusionary impulses. (The virulent resistance to racial integration in this country, and the federal government's ongoing failure to enforce the Fair Housing Act were recently reported on in-depth by ProPublica. It's a fascinating read. And George Romney comes off as quite a hero.)

But these days at at least, those are rarely the reasons opponents give publicly for their opposition. Instead they have a list of detailed, apparently practical concerns—traffic increases, strains on the schools and sewer systems, increase in crime, loss of property values.

Do these things come to pass? Rachel Bratt and and several masters students at Tufts University set out, at the request of Citizens' Housing and Planning Association, to find out. They closely examined four very controversial developments in Massachusetts, finding all the claims and concerns and then assessing whether they had come to pass. The results are striking, and mirror what Doug Massey found about the claims of opponents of Ethel Lawrence Homes in Mt. Laurel, NJ.

How can we use results like this in the fight for fair housing?

Related Articles

  • A row of small, two-story houses with pitched roofs on a paved street. They alternate in color between yellow and medium gray, and some have shrubs in the front yards. There are no cars n the street.

    Soaring Property Insurance Rates Threaten Affordable Housing Development

    March 26, 2024

    Rapidly rising insurance premiums are forcing affordable housing developers to cut back on programming, lay off staff, and even sell. To add insult to injury, some insurers also seem to be adding penalties or withdrawing coverage for housing voucher holders.

  • Meet Me at the Intersection of Housing, with Guest Lisa Rice

    January 12, 2024

    The president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance talks with Igluub about new challenges in the affordable housing landscape, the role of AI in promoting fair housing, and powerful tools driving the fight for housing justice.

  • A small homemade ramp made of a white board with "RAMP" painted on it in black covers the gap in a street-level doorway of a brick building. The door is of vertical black boards and is dirty with dust and splashed mud.

    All New Homes Should Be Accessible

    December 12, 2023

    Because so many old buildings are hard to fully retrofit, new homes need to fill in the gap.