Ghetto-busters: Project Towers… Nope. Section 8 Subsidies… Nope. So Federal Judge Orders ‘Plan C’

After the failure of high rise public housing, America still struggles to erase inner city ghettos.

Opportunity: an elusive, unattainable dream for those trapped in poverty-stricken inner city neighbourhoods which are predominantly black. Opportunity? Opportunity to live in good neighbourhoods, send children to good schools, opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.

Following the disaster of soulless and lawless high-rise projects, the next magic carpet to opportunity was meant instead to be housing subsidies. These could have offered mobility out of inner city ghettos, but didn’t. The so-called ‘section 8’ subsidies that have been available for years are structured in a way that unfortunately perpetuates poverty-stricken black neighbourhoods.

An Obama-era initiative has restructured housing subsidies to permit them to be used in a wide range of urban neighbourhoods, not just existing ghettos. Unfortunately, that plan was recently put on hold by the Trump administration. That story, as well as background history of section 8 failures and the intent of the Obama-era changes, is considered in detail in The AtlanticTrump Administration Puts on Hold an Obama-Era Desegregation Effort

A federal judge has now ruled that there must be no further delay in allowing people with limited resources a chance to live in ‘high opportunity’ neighbourhoods. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) headed by former surgeon Ben Carson has been ordered to stop delaying the Obama-era initiative for unnecessary further study. The housing subsidy changes which will go into effect in 2018 promise to make a much wider range of neighbourhoods eligible for housing subsidies. The details of this order are discussed in this ThinkProgress article: Federal judge green-lights desegregation housing rule after Carson tries to block it


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