The AP reported that on Tuesday, the Anti-Discrimination Center, a civil rights group, sued New York City, alleging it “promotes segregation by favoring whites for affordable housing in Manhattan neighborhoods that are predominantly white.” This action was taken “on behalf of three black plaintiffs in federal court, where” the group “seeks unspecified damages and court intervention to force the city to change its affordable housing practices.”
The New York Times reported the city allocates “affordable housing to low- and moderate-income households through lotteries that have been drawing tens of thousands of applications in the tight housing market,” and “new buildings look for tenants with preferential status under lottery rules, including residents in the community district where the new housing will go.” While officials maintain the preference helps to preserve neighborhoods, the plaintiffs argue it “denies equal access and serves to keep racial and ethnic minorities out of mostly white areas in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act and the city’s Human Rights Law.”
The Wall Street Journal reported the suit could disrupt Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing initiative. The suit would prevent the city from designating any units for residents of particular community districts.
Capital New York reported the city typically reserves 50% of a building’s affordable units for local residents, but the suit argues that this “‘outsider restriction policy’ is tantamount to ‘entrenched segregation,’ and makes it harder for low-income and minority residents to access high-quality schools, parks and jobs.”
Further to the above I would suggest that in the professions that are involved in creating the housing there is a dismal failure and lack of representation in the sectors that would include developers, contractors, engineers, architects and the adequate training for trades-people of ethnic and gender descriptions who are qualified to offer their services towards a more holistic and equitable access to opportunities with the mayor’s agenda and goals.
Further to this the complete and total disregard for research and development in the search for viable technological systems and solutions leave this housing industry stuck in obsolescence and overburdened economics of all possible kinds especially economics and project financing. This results in the unreasonable and unaffordable housing market at all demographic, psychographic and community levels.
The paradigm shift is impacting the entire human development and life support systems with housing being at the top of the list of human needs. Food, Clothing and Shelter, according to Maslow, is below acceptable stands for all communities. There is an unhealthy imbalance in all of our “creative expressions”, economies, services, and the training for innovative solutions for living in the emerging world we have inherited. There is an exclusion that accompanies every one of these observations that needs to be addressed by the leadership in our communities, among the cultural, religious, civic, political and all other representatives who need to be engaged in understanding the complex dynamic of where we are in this evolutionary process of living in cities and having to step up to the reality the truth of our human condition for all people and what it would take for equitable opportunities for healthy lifestyles.
The city is missing the opportunity by not being able to take advantage of the real healing benefits that can be derived from a stress-less built environment its citizens can enjoy. My observation also is about the myopic self-interested perspectives we get in looking for solutions. Each divided and conquered community of whatever kind or persuasion has its own agenda with no regard for a holistic vision. A broader vision, that shifts our thinking, will be more inclusive, effective and human.
These are topics for feedback and collaboration in the dialog we need to engage in to define our lives. 1. What are the rudimentary principles of new policies for a sustainable and viable housing industry?
2. What is the role does housing play in the cultural economic development agenda?