tv Former Housing Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro Discusses... CSPAN March 30, 2021 6:45pm-7:32pm EDT
>> former housing urban this join the urban institute for discussion about racial equity in federal housing policy. o'hare panel discussion with local and nonprofit housing officials. >> today's event is a series of discussions and policies analyst. emergency the coveting crisis in the long-overdue reckoning with their nations ongoing structural racism. that 1 day 1 of the administration president biden's first executive order spoke of in all of government approach to equity implication in every aspect of the policy choice. chooses a man miranda that acknowledges the federal government's legacy and promoted segregation housing discrimination. it commitsts itself to address the consequences of these practicesck.
this acknowledgment of responsibility is unprecedented. but is always what matters now is what we do with it. our conversation today will focus on the federal government to work state and local tallies to its obligation under the fair housing act in its broader commitment for equity gaps in housing in our community for this conversation no 1 better to have joined us today than the former secretary they are, great thank you so much for being here. so, i am curious, what do youst think it means countless earthy day 1 commitment that the president made. where there were equity overan here and that other conversations happening about retirement or transportation.
they were not integrated particular well. i am curious how you responded to that commitment on the part of the president? >> i was happy to see it. it's invaluable sends a strong message to all of the cabinet secretaries, every agency in the deputy secretary to such important work. you only to connect the dots of these policies.iv people do not live their lives in silos but it's about their housing but it's also about how that connects educational opportunity, transit opportunity, economic opportunity that allows 1 to break down the barriers of discrimination and allows people to overcome these obstacles. if we address them holistically there are thingse that public credit reporting that during the campaign it forward as an idea. something like that connects directly to the ability of potential homeowners in every background. but particularly homeowners of
color to get better access too capitoll. so far so good i think that's a strong way to start. i trust, because so many of the people who serve in the administration are similarly oriented, trust it can be great collaboration with the obama administration like sustainable communities and promise zones and choice neighborhoods. >> the next thing almost in this line of work was a presidential memorandum that dgacknowledged the housing policy and the ways it can contributed to segregation in this opportunity to people particularly black and brown and disadvantaged communities. talk a little bit about how that again let's talk first about the acknowledgment itself.
what you think it means? >> you cannot pick the problem until you acknowledge it. that seems so simple and it is. but let's be clear, the previous, administration wanted to change the mission statement of the department of housing and urban development to take out its mission of equal opportunity in housing. that is why as soon as us and menstruation started they said no, this is the true history of how policies have disadvantaged people of color and other communities but we are going towe acknowledge that and work to overcome that. that is fundamental come again at sends a strong signal. and if they could get things started off on the right foot. specs of the order mandates the center of policies many developed during your tenure, initially that were then changed during the next 1.
and instead of activities that you would sort of mapped out, that never got to completion. can we talk a little bit, obvious is there some true fair housing aficionados on this audience and there's others who may not be as in detail but so could you give us a little overview of what, why was it important to revisit this agenda? and where did you hope itwh would go? >> towards the end of the obama administration this is really something that have been developed throughout the obama administration, donovan and then we completed it, who is on this zoom, was leading the charge as secretary send invitation for me to it join today work integral along with so many others of getting affirmative fair housing done. as many folks on the zoom although in some way not be as familiar, is basically
unfinished business housing act that said 2 cities, housing authorities to get federal taxpayer dollars through hud, hey, you have to be more serious and develop a real plan to hire going to ensure fair housing opportunity in your jurisdiction. this had beenef tried once before i think in the late '90s under secretary cuomo and they pushed it, and pushed it, it almost got there and then fortunately we were able to get over the finish line. that was significant because it required something substantively more from jurisdictions that have the power to address theseis issues. and it also sends a strong signal, not only to hauser's but to everybody else that we need to ensure equality of opportunity. you take somethinge like that in addition to the work we were trying to do, to work
with f hsa and look at ways that we can improve access to capitol, try to strengthen fha so that it can continue to be and even expand on what an essential tool it is for my 90 homebuyers, first-time homebuyers. there is a lot of workof that was done. i think there's much more work to do for the other 1 is equal access ruled the trump administration peeled back. as happy to see the biden administration will go on the right direction with respect to everybody knows but including transgender individuals, that is very important. specs of the past, the journey your administration was on, was not only to lay out the center of principles and requirements of emotive analysis. but also to put in b place tools
to help localities to try to move forward. that infrastructure requires dollars. but it also requires regulatory hats behindor it. there was a severe reversal on not only the rule itself but on obviously support for the local jurisdiction so thinking about this. and yet at the same time because of the pandemic and because of george floyd there is more interest at the local level to think about equity than ever before. there has been a huge pain for policy in this area. what is the consequences of that? and do you feel it's possible to pick up where we left off or do we have more work to do? >> you made very good points. number 1, let's admit you know that she wereyo there. you're always going to have a little bit of pushback from those local jurisdictions.
any time or trying to them to do something more than they have been doing, whether the cities, you always have this little push and pull and tug of war. but, we were able to and incorporate that into the tools they put forward in thell approach we took. essentially to get enough buy-in to get over the finish linee . after the murder of george floyd here in san antonio right now we have a mayor his entire tenure with the city of equity. i think we do have a better opportunity right now on these issues and help achieve a fair housing landscape.
the 18 and 20 cycle that you've seen the politics of the suburbs change the actually have unbalanced more progressives and, you know this is not a partisan conversation but more democrats have been elected to city councils and the county commissions of the suburbs. you may have an opportunity here in the suburbs to get some fair housing done in partnerships more than ever before. we have placed more oriented and agreeable to that, that is not been written enough it is not been analyzed enough for alec know what the numbers are exactly. i believe there is something there. >> the discussion with people we will invite you back for
that. we have is a spent some timeth about the powers of the presidency and what it can achieve in a country that is still starkly divided. it's really good to hear sort of w your hope for what happened. where do you think that not only the first steps ought to be at the fair housing, what is your sort of broader help about 4 years from now? were you hope the country will be ready hope they are? >> on integration? >> >> more generally on our cities. speak a lot first i hope you have a fundamentalmm recommitment to urban communities. when i was there we celebratedmm the 50th anniversary of hud. hud was founded, as you know
right in the middle of unrest cities are worth investing in. everything we just dealt with during the pandemic and the inequities we've seen in housing, and education we now feel everything before because of remote learning. and job opportunities different health outcomes but we need a fundamental recommitment urban investments. secondly, i hope we are able to connect those policy dots and work across those lines a lot more that the federal government models that and that has been taken up at theta state level and local level. i would also say it is my hope that this administration will lead the charge in sparking
griddle regionalism. if we're ever going to tackle these problems, the way we need to is going to require more than just the big city doing its part. with its affordable housing units, transit opportunities or any number of other things that people on the lower end of the income scale and middle class especially suburbs are going to have to step up and do their part. it is a reals partnership. they do not need to be dictated to but they definitely need to be more engaged i have been. >> hold of the conversation we are very grateful our great deputy your great deputy really grateful to you for joining us and for your service and we continue the conversation. thanks sod much for >> thanksrk for the great work you do. >> thanks take care. >> with that i would love to
invite my panelist colleen to turn onli the cameras we have during the obama administration did a stent working on the affirmative housing rules, ask as to today's been the director of the housing and community development previously served at hud secretary for ease equal housing opportunity. also did a stent in there as senior fellow were very excited to have staff with this. in her dear friend and great champion sheet executive officer that national fair housing alliance. so guys, thank you so much for being here. going to start with you we just heard secretary castor describe important. why don't we start going back a little bit.
let's start with the facts based evidence. give us a little thought about what does it tell us about segregation? and why those focus on fair housing is so important to advance broader goals of equity and prosperity? >> thank you sarah thank you for hosting this important timely discussion. thank you sec. castor for your readership and for kicking us off. i think it'ski crucial toha emphasize the role public policy at all levels of government played in segregation racially concentrated poverty that we see today. what part of researchers understanding our history. i think it's related to the role of research. an increasingly were seeing research and historians documenting not just with the policies have been, through
exclusionary but the impacts of policies have had today that's important to emphasize this. because it demonstrates they are not driven by individual choices or some natural sorting mechanism. there is an important role to play well that's disturbing it should give us some hope. the government will also have a role to play. but to get there we need the political will to act and research can help with that as well. there is this body of research that shows how segregation hurts everyone. and hurts him is that her locked out of neighborhoods that are rich in opportunities. it also drags down our economy and creates grave health risks were at the urban institute colleagues have documented
more segregated metropolitan areas, the higher rates of homicide, lower earnings lower property values, less segregated metropolitan areas. the investment coalition published research how covid 19 factors are higher in the same communities that were redlined in the early 20th and mid 20th century. really demonstrates the legacies the federal policies have in the great risk they put on society today. and so i will wrap up by saying i do think that data, the evidence and the research does help. it's policies that are played at points in the world policies need to play in the federal lovers today so we can share and prosperity. >> so lisa, the last 4 years
you were in a period of some frustration i think for the agenda you and the organization has been leading. tell us a little about the policy differences that were there. and as directed had to revisit both the affirmative -- what are the goals and objections you have in these areas you hope the next generation will advance. >> sarah yes that is a great question. i do think that president biden, that this administration is actually already begun to deliver on some of those reforms that we expected to see. we issued our policy priorities for the new administration before the administration wasas implemente. in so we were very happy to see the administration take
some of the steps. you and hooley on, sec. castor talked a number of racial equity executives order the fair housing memoranda parade those of the things we asked administration to do. we were very, very pleased to see the administration take the steps. president biden expects to make anyt advancement on his campaign promise to address housing in equities and racial inequality in this or does he just released a really going to have any chance at all in this administration has got to immediately fix the problem with the disparate impact rule and the affirmative housing role-play the trump administration eviscerated both of those rules to basically make them no and void and ineffective. it is really a shame.
those tools of the tools we have to achieve racial equity and other forms of equity and housing. the disparate impact doctrine is 1 of the most important civil rights tools that we have. policies that drive harmful impact because it allows us to address structures that don't appear to be discriminatory, that may seem neutral but a deeper examination of those policies revealed very harmful impacts onul protected groups of people. the law requires those policies to be completely eliminated or to be replaced with policy that have no discriminatory effect or a less discriminatory effect. the most effective tool that we have for addressing systemic racism. once administration fixes the role we are reliant on the
mistress and fixable right away because we have lawsuits. we have cases pending in court that are hinging on the s disparate impact rule but that's got to be fixed right away. and then the administration has applied the doctrine to the federal government policies and programs to exact change for it we have rule on the book of we are not using them. to the federal government has to dismantle those structures that are driving discriminatory outcomes, revamp those systems and that implemented new structures that are fair part i will point out a few. the qualified mortgage rule. it was initially implemented in a way that was really driving very clear in equities based on race and national origin for now have new row t based on the pricing approach that has the opportunity to
expand credit options for underserved groups. but it leaves door open for pricing discrimination. credit scoring policies, the federal government right now sarah is requiring the use of an outdated credit score that we know drives discriminatory impact when there were other newer scores the less discriminatory group route level pricing, appraisal policies that is been in the news lately. they are all of these areas we are expecting the biden administration to apply the disparate impact theory to exact systems change. and the last thing i will say -- i will also say with disparate impact b are expecting the biden administration to use this theory in its enforcement
actions the department of justice, the department of hud. the last thing i will say i do it to make a point about housing, because -- this rulece which has never been enforced. this provision of the law that has never been enforced. we have the opportunity to enforce it. we do expect for the administration to reinstate the 2015 rule is you guys have just talked about. but then to update the data tools and assessments. we have much more powerful technology that we can use. awe can use ai and machine learning to really bring the force of technology there to help identify where there are barriers to housing and lending opportunities. and then fix them and address them. i do want to point out
finally, that jurisdiction public housing authorities and other stakeholders have been calling on for decades, sarah really is effective technical assistance training and support. as it relates to implementing affirmatively furthering housing. there is a high expectation for this administration to deliver on that front. >> thank you. doctor strabo, these were rules you help to shepherd to the finish line during the last administration. so i mostly want to get you to talk about -- could you describe that a great discussion with this, could youde give me 2 simple rule description of the mechanism by which the rules would interact with local jurisdiction policy and practice? and then wen will turn to the new seat at state government.
>> thank you for the invitation. it's great to see my colleagues and friends here. it is very important point stroke to restore the rule that was promulgated. because setting policies, priority policies and mandates and incentives from the federal government can really support coordinating efforts on their way the state and local level. in california we have anchor in this law that passed in 20188686 to respond to the changes happening of federal policy of no longer enforcing. this law codified the obama era principal requirements. this means implementing all of our housing programs at the state level. but also the work of other critical assistance not just
house in ways that transportation and education and climates. from the local jurisdiction site or state law gets to the important issue of accommodating more affordable housing with higher density in zoning and in the right location. so that new housing is built without exacerbating segregation. the city of sacramento for example is a good sample of our state of the need significant action and they recently eliminated and essence single zoning and were starting to see a trend here that other cities may follow suit. berkeley and san jose perhaps. again much easier if all this is done with the obama rules so there is no room for failure in our coordinated ability to have localities achieve true integrated inclusivity. >> that is a technical question i did not know.
let's not a matter of just reinstating, right customer there's a rule in place can they pervert citizens are to go through another. [inaudible] what is the trajectory of policy debate? >> i think they would have to reinstate it.it the trump administration basically decimated the rule. it would have to be going to the same regulatory channels to put it back in place. but at the same time the hud tcam work on the fair assessments of housing the integral part of the regulation how regions and cities go about estimating level of segregation. one of the meaningful actions they have to take. this could happen currently, the regulatory process can be cumbersome. that's probably going to take a little while. >> i wanted to turn back to you to talk a little bit about
what is really behind this. we're looking today at the current policies in place that could either be changed or the practices at local levels be changed so that we end up with meaningful access to fair housing and not communities that are disconnected from access tort opportunities. the number of different policy levers that requireat examination would take that approach to policy. one of them for many people are talking about. i want to ask you as an example this is a mechanism by which the world operates in that we can come back and talk a little bit about why there seems to be a convergence on the left and right of interest in zoning. >> yes, great absolutely. we do not need you to dig deep into our past to find how public policy perpetuates
segregation and exclusion. we have it here every day in cities across the country and embodied in exclusionary aspects. not in all aspects are exclusionary but there are plenty of communities across the country. even in dense ins urban centers where the only housing you can build is single-family detached housing. what that means is by definition you are not building housing you're cutting off the supply first about which is going to drive up costs. you are not necessarily housing available across a a diverse range of households. speaking of evidence and research were are certain, this is the evidence is growing, and growing, as to the effect that overly restrictive local land-use and zoning laws have not just on
segregation but on how affordability and most recently howley pad, writing about how these local lawsma break down our entire economy, make it less productive as a nation. so i donk think that the problem is that these laws, not just the loss but how they are enforced on specific projects how favorable and so we have traditionally given a lot of difference to local communities on zoning and these laws. with this results in, is under recent paper with ingrid allen recalled a lot of little local decisions causing some really big problems, right? any individual zoning decision may not beio malicious. i may not even be intended to
exclude. but the effect is they often do. when that happens, when you do you need the dates, he the federal government, on both city leaders of eocene places like minneapolis than elsewhere stepping in and say we can do better. we need to make sure every community provides enough housing that is appropriate, assessable, affordable for people to live in a broader community. i think ratcheting it up as taking away local control. means making sure local control is used responsibly. click back to the federal government but states play an important role. >> comforted to great case
study we have very conservative jurisdictions atnd the same time a lot happening across, up and down the state. by the way this ideological views are not drawn across red or green lines as you know but something that the case is not necessarily the case. when your start seeing some alignment is in the crisis reaches enormous proportions. that is where we are in california right now. there is no community for example in california that is being touched by homelessness and people are taking notice. even in the most exclusionary areas. by the way, the effects that have decimated, we cannot recover economically on the issues of zoning. economic recovery has to be tight infrastructure. that has to be tied to housing
production and jobs. and this is even more critical to a supply issue to prevent homelessness from becoming bigger. this is the number 1 issue here in the states with the crisis of homelessness. i need to change your local policies. join from our experience here in california i would raise the importance of supporting regulatory frames about our pro housing. for example we have not been deciding approach housing designation mission without its core best things to promote, has the potential for incentivizing localti governments for performance inn zoning deregulation and fair housing at the samee time to gain complete benefit for being exceptional. including things like scoring points inc. competitive, making things of that nature.
this could be dead more impactful to get a federal level. this is 1 thing that i would come it states like california would love to have some kind of pro housing, initiative at the federal level that creates incentives that will support like ones we are creating here in her home state. >>'s particular good to note the divides on so much of this has more to do which it has many cases that has to w do with blue or red calculations in community. the center came out the report on full segregation and show shthe degree to which you could almost immediately advance on school integration by simply changing the borders within your jurisdiction of work areas are. so much of that is about
neighborhoods. if you were to overlap the patterns of school and patterns of neighborhoods that have been exclusive you will find a lot of alignment. so i really appreciate making that point. i also want to ask briefly, before made a point to focus on zoning present but the economic drive. there's a conservative a argument that comes at this too that says part of the reason we have a huge supply amounts that we have, on the rise in prices instrument their very different place than the argument of the left.ar it isn't an efficient market allocation can you spend afo moment on that? >> it is such an important point. super impressive often do align at a certain level but
they may come from different places. it's a mate purely pragmatic standpoint maybe doesn't matter songs we can find some places of agreement to advanceht progresses often point to the role that zoning and land-use play with racial inequality. in fact it does. talked about that. and, conservatives and many economists point to a role that regulations playou restricting housing and driving up housing costs which it does. we can hold both of those and sister at the same time. it's the devil if you will and the details of designing policy solutions. i do think it is important to design that are not just totally focused on the regulation.
deregulation is important. we are in agreement that deregulation, some of these exclusionary barriers by all means you should do it. redraft the history been talk of the racist of policy making at all levels of government and the privatego market. single-handedly revolved our housing affordability. the deeply affordable housing for families who needed the most. and we need to make sure were our kids have a fair shot at success rethink conservatives or progressives can rally around that latter. i think if we do look at the history of the federal government and supporting affordable housing which is
either stagnant or declining over time while housing prices and rents are going to the roof we can build up to the incentive financing itself. sinnott went to ask about your feeling in the community. arguing with your last remarks about the importance of giving support. one of the kind of models and best practices your sing and select communities. what is it you would like federal government to do to get that support and visibility? >> you notice there it is interesting.g. i think the covid pandemic has resulted in a lot of effort at the local level to address housing issues. because what the covidic pandemic did, it really
rebuild the intersection between health. it helped a lot of local leaders as well as federal leaders understand very clearly how health is housing. they cannot be disconnected from 1ng another. we are seeing lots of organizing around eviction protection. because people are realizing if you are evicted or foreclosed on, if you do not have stable housing that is affordable to you, you are going to be more susceptible to the impact of the coronavirus. so we are seeing organizing also around climate justice issues, climate displacement issues. this is a very interesting development. because what we see is climate justice, community-based organizations during housing.
environmental organizations doing housing. health organizations doing nghousing. organizations were focused on food access doing housing. what is this doing? it's a.s. h. that's exactly what affirmative housing is all about. creating communities of opportunities where people have the right and ability to be in safe stable affordable housing and communities that are well resourced. we see educational community-based educational organizations, organizing around housing. until we do see this in gelling. the thing i think the federal government can do to support these local communities, is to shore up the framework and infrastructure because that is really the foundation upon which all of this work can joe
and formulate. and we can create policy, not working in silos. it's about eliminating the silos that we can build the strategic, these strategies are intersectional. that worked to eliminate barriers to opportunity for the last thing i'll say is happening a higher level 2. for example were seen for the first time industry stakeholders coming out and support the business roundtable came out unsupported impact and affirmative for housing. this is really bubbling up so that we have entities who have never been interested in housing rights and housing justicee issues. never been interested in these issues before, they are now very, very engaged. >> aright were going to bring
to a close in about 2 minutes. going to do a speed around here. i'm going to ask each of you the same questions i asked secretary castro. your hopes from where you sit to it you hope to competent next 4 years? before we get to that give a lot of questions in the chat about source of income discrimination. 2:30 second answers for the first answer is you have any sense of what it's like to take on an agenda superquick source of income or what you hope for for the next 4 years? >> i do not know phil take on federal protection. i can see the federal government can do right now is pave the path and make local protection already in place.
and eventually build to federal protection by making sure that they are doing everything they can to educate landlords about programs improve the way local public housing authorities administer the program to make it friendlier. even state and local governments have shown local source of income protection is often violated and clouded. for a whole bunch of reasons for that. lack of money for enforcement, but there is also a lot of problems with the ministration of the voucher program that is be taken seriously. that was not an answer i don't feel that the legislative positioned to adopt the protection. even with hud's regulatory in grant making power it could gor really far for the voucher
program. [inaudible] sncc long-term went to go back to where secretary started eating to connect the dots of the agencies to break down barriers. i think there's a lot of work that hud can do. everything we have talked about at the intersection of housing, economic developer, criminal justice, all the areas which the federal government plays importantl role. one thing the federal government is not in a great job is working across silos. in working across agencies but if i have 1 big hope we have a broader racial equity agenda that all agencies can t get behind, work collaboratively. i will end upen being a benefit for everyone. >> 1 hope for the next. >> 1 hope, i just want to say 1 quick thing about social, it is risky business to open up
the fair housing pack 2 amendments. i think conditions have to be perfect in congress for that to happen. but if it does happen, if it does happen protection has to be a must in the future. whatever future. and restoring fully just as it was in 2015. and, using a framework ofnd incentives federal funding incentives based on a measure of performance and affordable housing protection for housing for regions across the country going inevitably would have to be included without being mandated some typerm of reform i was doubting. at least you have the last word, your hope. >> reinstatement of the president's fair housing council. which we want to be chaired by
the vice president of t the united states. >> aright then. we appreciate sharing your vision here. also your work. thank you to all of her audience for joining us and making this a blockbuster crowd on a friday night. hope you all have wonderfulul weekends. please, i hope you all stay safe. be well, we'll see you soon. : : : >>