Up for Discussion -- Regionalism and Affordable Housing
In recent years, many researchers and policymakers have considered the larger metropolitan area for examination of housing markets, economic development, planning and more. Looking at a city’s communities through this regional lens can provide a starkly different perspective, and academics and legislators are still exploring how that impacts urban low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
To discuss one aspect of regional thinking—housing policy—we asked for the views of Edward Goetz and Myron Orfield, both of the University of Minnesota and long-time proponents of affordable housing. They agreed to a back-and-forth format, with four rounds of discussion, starting with this introductory question:
When it comes to a regional vs. place-based perspective, there is much agree-ment on community development issues. One place where there is a difference of opinion is around where to build new affordable housing. How can we prioritize investment to both improve low-income communities and give families the best opportunities?
The three main goals of affordable housing policy are: 1) providing decent, safe and affordable housing to persons of limited means, 2) improving the physical conditions of declining neighborhoods (the “community development” objective) and 3) ensuring greater choice for all households and diversifying the housing stock in communities where such diversity is lacking (the “fair housing” objective).
Pursuit of the first objective implies producing housing where the need is greatest. Unfortunately, this is everywhere. Virtually all communities in our metropolitan areas need more affordable housing. A federal government estimate in 2010 found that close to six million very low-income families pay more than half of their incomes on housing or live in “severely inadequate conditions.” Most of these families live in central city neighborhoods. At the same time, however, poverty is spreading to suburban areas and in fact, there are currently more households living in poverty in suburban areas of the U.S. than in central cities. Thus, pursuit of the first goal of affordable housing provides no compelling answer about where to geographically focus our efforts.
The community development objective suggests that we concentrate our efforts in central city areas where neighborhood conditions have declined most precipitously. In these neighborhoods, affordable housing addresses two concerns—the provision of decent and safe housing for people who need it and neighborhood improvement. New (including rehabilitated) housing that is affordable physically upgrades the neighborhood, and often means a shift in housing management from disinterested or overwhelmed private operators to community-based nonprofit organizations whose business it is to provide good housing and to contribute to community development. Such an approach, furthermore, serves to partially redress the adverse effects of decades of major federal initiatives from transportation policy to tax policy that have systematically disadvantaged central cities and that have led to much of the decline that community development efforts address.
The fair housing objective suggests a different targeting strategy. Too many suburban areas have erected zoning and other regulatory barriers to the creation of low-cost housing as a means of protecting their class-race homogeneity or their high property values. This has the effect of limiting the housing choice of lower-income households and limiting the diversity of some communities. Prioritizing this objective means focusing our housing efforts in suburban areas to create housing opportunities where they have been denied in the past. This approach redresses decades of exclusionary policies on the part of local governments.
In the end, our housing goals suggest no clear targeting strategy. Need exists in central and suburban areas. Affordable housing provides opportunity wherever it is located. In suburban areas it provides access to community amenities otherwise reserved for middle class and affluent families. In central city areas, decent and affordable housing provides residential stability, safe living conditions and greater financial stability for families. To target one geographic area of our metropolitan areas over another requires both a convincing argument as to why one goal is more important than another and a justification for neglecting one geographic area in favor of another. I know of no such arguments that would lead me to conclude that pursuit of fair housing should be undertaken at the expense of community development; or vice versa. Affordable housing needs are universal; our strategies should be also.
Racial segregation in housing and schools is a fundamental reality of the American housing market. Residential segregation remains stunningly high for black and Latino households. After improving for twenty years, segregation in schools, which is deeply intertwined with residential segregation, is now worse than ever. Racial segregation causes concentrated poverty, destroying human potential and the fabric of neighborhoods with its web of discrimination and fundamental inequality.
Racial segregation is caused by illegal racial discrimination in the following forms: 1) racial steering, 2) mortgage lending discrimination, 3) exclusionary zoning, 4) racially segregated school boundary decisions, 5) individual discrimination by whites who will not sell or rent to non-whites in white neighborhoods and 6) by the federal and state government building a disproportionate share of government subsidized affordable housing in segregated and unstably integrated neighborhoods. All of these practices, while prohibited by the Federal Fair Housing Act, are common.
Professor Goetz advocates a colorblind approach to affordable housing policy. If this were a single race society without stunning racial segregation and blatant and continuing housing discrimination, I would agree. But racial discrimination in housing markets is a more fundamental factor determining individual opportunity and neighborhood revitalization than any policy of simply bricks and mortar. Non-white racially segregated neighborhoods, with few exceptions, have continued a long unabated comparative economic and educational decline for forty years. They have not only been starved of private capital, but recently have also been subjected to a saturated pattern of racially discriminatory predatory lending practices. Sadly, these neighborhoods today have relatively worse schools, higher unemployment and more incarceration than ever.
A colorblind policy in which most family affordable housing is built in segregated or resegregating low-opportunity neighborhoods means that, given the background reality of multi-level discrimination, the problems of segregation and all its harms will continue to worsen and affordable housing policy will itself remain a significant aspect of the continuing inequality and urban disinvestment that has characterized American cities.
Further, the colorblind approach is technically illegal. The Fair Housing Act commands that our housing policy be race-conscious and pro-integrative on a metropolitan level. In this context, the federal courts have declared that a colorblind housing policy is “impermissible.” This (unenforced) law requires the federal government and all entities receiving federal housing support to use whatever “leverage” they have to foster racially integrated schools and communities. Federal law creates a presumption that building new units in segregated areas with failing schools is a racially discriminatory practice, particularly when it is possible to build these units in higher opportunity white areas.
There is a near perfect match of non-white racial and economic segregation in schools and academic failure. Segregated high schools are “drop-out factories” that are much more connected to prison than college. This is true whether they are public or charter schools, whether they are in states where the central city schools are broke or where they spend much more than the suburban average in segregated schools. Separate but equal—and even separate and more money than the suburbs—has never worked. Similarly, high-intensity approaches like Geoffrey Canada’s [Harlem Children’s Zone] in Harlem are very hard to reproduce and unsustainable in most contexts. These approaches are more anecdote than viable or systematic policy.
In contrast, the benefits of racially and socially integrated schools have been documented in innumerable studies over decades. For minority students, the benefits include improved academic achievement, better graduation rates, higher future incomes, higher college attendance rates and greater access to social networks associated with opportunity, as well as enhanced critical thinking skills and better interracial relations in future living and employment environments for students of all races. Integration is not a one-step panacea, but it is a necessary part of any real effort to improve education.
Hence, there should be a strong preference to adding new family units in areas with the best schools and against adding new units in areas that only have failing schools. While I think that the federal government can and should build part of its housing in segregated areas, its overall balance sheet must be pro-integrative on a metropolitan basis. The law and the facts require state agencies to take into account the racial and economic composition of schools and their performance before they make location decisions about new low-income family housing.
What does this perspective mean for community development? It argues against the status quo of colorblind community development and for a race conscious and pro-integrative community development strategy.
Professor Orfield wants to orient housing policy with “a strong preference” toward fair housing goals. If, as I contend, housing policy serves many public goals, what would it mean to privilege fair housing above the others? Would we be able to achieve (or make significant progress) on segregation, and at the same time avoid falling behind on other (less favored) goals?
Would a fair housing-focused strategy effectively address issues of segregation and concentrated poverty? Not really. We are not building enough subsidized housing nowadays to have a traceable effect on patterns of racial segregation and poverty concentration. Three examples should suffice.
- The Mount Laurel case in New Jersey, [which required that municipalities use their zoning powers in an affirmative manner to provide a realistic opportunity for the production of affordable housing], generated the nation’s largest fair share housing program aimed at providing subsidized housing in suburban areas. The only major study of resident outcomes ever completed on the program indicated that among 2,600 households, less than 2 percent were African Americans who had left the central city and moved to the suburbs. And when one takes into account the reverse flow (African Americans who moved in the opposite direction by leaving the suburbs to occupy a subsidied home in a city), the net flow accounted for 1 percent of the households assisted by that statewide effort. Why so few? In large part because need for affordable housing already exists among people currently living in the suburbs. The production of a unit of subsidized housing in the suburbs simply does not guarantee, and in fact rarely produces a pro-integrative move for a black family from the central city.
- When Professor Orfield was a state legislator in Minnesota, he successfully championed a fair share housing law that was ultimately vetoed by an unsupportive governor. The program, had it been signed into law in 1994, could have operated at full funding for 50 years before it built enough affordable housing to house the number of families who, in 1994, needed that housing and already lived in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. We should all be in favor of building more subsidized housing in the suburbs. But don’t think for a minute it is going to affect patterns of concentrated poverty and racial segregation in central cities.
- Since the early 1990s we have demolished hundreds of thousands of units of public housing in our central cities and dispersed the residents [through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOPE VI program]. The result? The level of concentrated poverty in American cities is worse now than in 1990. Most displaced residents have moved to other segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods. They have done so for a number of reasons. One chief reason has to do with preferences. Not everyone who lives in the central city wants to make the moves envisioned by Professor Orfield, even when they live in a segregated and declining neighborhood. Substantial portions wish to remain in their communities and want to see those communities improved. We need a housing policy for those people, too.
So, what would be the implications for other housing goals of a narrow policy approach focused on fair housing? It would, by definition, significantly limit affordable housing investment in central neighborhoods. These are the neighborhoods with the oldest and most deteriorated housing stock. Most affordable housing projects in such neighborhoods consist of rehabilitation of the worst of this stock.
Housing investment in these neighborhoods achieves multiple objectives that all community development practitioners know well. First, the property is brought up to code so that those living there no longer have to endure substandard conditions that threaten health and well-being. Second, rents are made affordable to persons of limited means and affordability is monitored over time. This allows families to devote more of their income to other critical needs such as food, clothing and health. Third, such investment improves neighborhoods by increasing property values nearby and incentivizing additional investment, and by decreasing crime at the location through more attentive management. To shut off this type of investment, or limit it more than we already have, is to ensure the further decline of these neighborhoods. When the private sector does this we call it red-lining and we oppose it because of its obvious deleterious effects.
Would a community development approach solve the problems of central neighborhoods? No, not any more than a fair housing approach would solve segregation or poverty concentration. Our level of investment in these areas is too meager and unlikely to expand significantly in the future. This is why I advocate an approach that incorporates multiple objectives and does not give primacy to any. That is called a flexible approach, not a colorblind one.
Professor Goetz is wrong about the pro-integrative effect of a strong fair housing policy. Many studies undertaken in conjunction with school desegregation lawsuits in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s demonstrated that if HUD had located affordable housing in a race conscious and pro-integrative manner, no school busing would have been necessary to have integrated all the schools in many large metropolitan areas.
The Twin Cities at one time built a large share of new family units in a pro-integrative way in white developing suburbs under Federal Fair Housing Act rules. After 1982, the housing policy became colorblind and the region’s subsidized housing has served mostly to intensify segregation in the city and resegegration in transitioning suburbs. During the last decade, the Twin Cities region has gone from eight to more than one hundred segregated elementary schools.
I had tried to overcome the serious pro-segregative bias that had developed in Twin Cities in the 1980 and ‘90s in my legislation. This effort was not only opposed by the whitest and most affluent suburbs but perhaps even more fiercely by community developers who tried to defeat my bid for re-election. Because of their opposition, this part of the bill never passed.
Straight-forward simulations with realistic racial occupancy projections of alternative location strategies for subsidized housing built in the Twin Cities in recent decades shows that if subsidized units had simply been placed randomly across the region—if we had simply eliminated the pro-segregative central city bias—school segregation in the Twin Cities could have been cut in half. Imagine what could have been accomplished by a pro-integrative strategy.
Next, Mount Laurel is an irrelevant example. It is itself a colorblind, race-neutral suburban fair share plan with no subsidy programs attached. When the original Mount Laurel plaintiff sought to build units for black families in white communities, community developers fought in court to deprive tax credits to such white suburban projects. They argued that the Fair Housing Act and racial integration were irrelevant considerations because the tax credit units that were saturated in the segregated black and Latino cities of New Jersey were revitalizing these places.
The HOPE VI program is also an irrelevant example. By rule, HOPE VI was explicitly exempted from Fair Housing law. When the units were demolished, they were largely rebuilt in segregated or unstably integrated neighborhood, not unlike the present system of housing siting. I, like many fair housing advocates, opposed these siting rules arguing that they violated the Fair Housing Act and the U.S. Constitution.
I have never proposed that anyone be forced to leave a central city neighborhood. I believe, however, that poor, non-white people should have many more choices than Professor Goetz does. By building such a disproportionate share of subsidized housing in segregated neighborhoods, we provide low-income families with lots of housing choices in areas with failing schools, poor services, crime and social pathways to prison. There are almost no choices for these families to live in neighborhoods with good schools, great services, low crime and social pathways to college and middle-income employment. More than 70 percent of black and Latino middle-income, two-parent families have chosen high opportunity neighborhoods in the suburbs. The color blind status quo does not allow low-income, non-white families these same choices.
Stably integrated neighborhoods have good schools and access to private capital and are truly revitalizing. Real community development is not just adding low-income housing to desperately poor neighborhoods. It should be a multifaceted strategy involving schools, health, parks, public infrastructure and transit to improve both neighborhood conditions and individual opportunity in the context of a more racially integrated and economically interdependent and connected region.
Professor Orfield assures us that a “strong fair housing policy” would substantially solve school segregation problems. But what he offers in support of that proposition are counterfactual hypotheticals (i.e., what HUD might have done in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, and a simulation of the Twin Cities). I prefer the evidence of real life, which shows pretty conclusively that our best efforts so far have not produced desegregative outcomes. Furthermore, his references to what might have been acknowledge that the type of program Professor Orfield has in mind, the kind that would work, has yet to be enacted. Anywhere. This is not a trifling observation. The political obstacles to creating a truly effective desegregative housing policy are enormous. That does not mean that we should stop trying, but it does suggest we be realistic about what is possible. I am not aware of any metropolitan area on the verge of enacting such a policy.
Thus, the New Jersey Mount Laurel-based effort is far from irrelevant in this discussion. It is the largest initiative we have nationally to break down the obstacles to affordable housing in predominantly white suburbs. That it exists in its current (and compromised) form is precisely the point. And the fact that it does not produce the mobility patterns that Professor Orfield desires is also precisely to the point.
Efforts to geographically spread affordable housing opportunities are important. Such efforts would attract greater support from community developers if they were not accompanied by efforts to limit or stop affordable housing development in central neighborhoods.
There are two important considerations here. First, we must not exaggerate the role of subsidized housing in creating segregative patterns. Professor Orfield’s list of the factors that produce patterns of segregation (in his first section) is a good one. Note that the siting of subsidized housing is only one of six factors listed. Given the size of our subsidized housing effort in this country, it cannot, however, be regarded as a very important factor. Any assumption that a radical reorientation of our project-based subsidized housing efforts will solve segregation is simply unrealistic.
Second, we need to get beyond the notion that the primary impact of project-based subsidized housing is negative. Efforts to limit or stop such housing programs in central neighborhoods under-appreciate or ignore the contributions such housing make to the lives of people and to the communities where it is located. I very briefly laid those out previously. Professor Orfield’s accompanying map of the location of tax credit units in the Twin Cities metro area is, I imagine, meant to fill us with alarm. The units, denoted by bright red dots (at least they aren’t little red octagons with “STOP” written across them), cluster in central areas of the region. I look at the map and, while I see the need for more red dots in suburban areas, I see the dots in the central cities as being stable and affordable housing opportunities for families who would otherwise be paying half of their income or more for substandard housing in the private sector. I see families in more secure living conditions. I see upgraded or new housing stock in neighborhoods that need it.
Professor Orfield ends his last section with a description of what ‘real community development’ should be. I agree with every word of it. No one, to my knowledge, argues that community development is just affordable housing. But it is not comprehensive without affordable housing.
In Montgomery County, Md., the pro-integrative, moderately priced dwelling unit ordinance provides housing almost entirely for low-income black families in one of the most affluent suburban areas of the United States. It creates one of the best, largest and most racially integrated suburban school districts in the country. Recent studies show stunning, long-term academic gains for the low-income black students who have access to these units and schools.
The Twin Cities (from 1970 until 1982) operated a race-conscious, suburban affordable housing program. Under the project-based Section 8 program, the Met Council set fair share housing goals for white developing suburbs and allocated affordable units to make sure the goal became reality. In eight years, the number of pro-integrative units in the suburbs went from 1,878 to 14,712. Unlike New Jersey, this program had affirmative marketing and unified waiting lists. In the nation’s third whitest region, half of these units are occupied by non-whites. Studies of low-income black students living in this housing in the affluent suburb of Eden Prairie report academic results and continuous improvement unmatched by any school district in the state.
In the mid-1980s, this program was effectively ended by central city politicians and housing developers—not by the suburbs. Central city leaders kept the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program out of the Met Council’s jurisdictions and opposed civil rights goals. If the 1970-82, Section 8 pro-integrative guidelines had been used for the tax credit, the Twin Cities could have kept its schools integrated, instead of going from eight to 100 segregated schools. If we hope to reintegrate the schools, we have to return to and enhance this successful race-conscious approach.
Professor Goetz’s New Jersey facts are old. After a fair housing lawsuit in 2003, opposed by LISC, the number of family tax credit units outside of segregated areas has more than doubled in five years from 20 percent pre-lawsuit to between 40 percent and 70 percent each year.* Today there is a higher than average share of African Americans in Mount Laurel units and it is improving every year. If Mount Laurel had clear race conscious goals, more affirmative marketing and unified waiting lists, and if the tax credits were allocated to help communities achieve their integration goals (not to deepen segregation), New Jersey could become dramatically more integrated in a short period of time.
In 1966, Martin Luther King and Dorothy Gautreaux sued Richard J. Daley and HUD, arguing that a policy of building a disproportionate share of the subsidized housing in the Chicago ghetto violated the constitution and the newly enacted Civil Rights Act. Daley replied with the argument that the ghetto is where the housing need is the greatest and his practice of building most of the projects in the ghetto was central to their vitality. “Besides,” said the Mayor, “we have tried to build in white neighborhoods, and it’s just too tough.” Sound familiar?
The Supreme Court told Daley that his housing policy was illegal. As a result one-third of the Gautreaux program participants had a chance to live in the whitest and most opportunity-rich suburbs. Research demonstrates that parents got better jobs and their kids were twice as likely to graduate (from much better high schools) and were much more likely to go to college and become part of America’s mainstream than the students left behind in segregated schools.
There are at least a dozen other examples to show that significant racial integration is possible if we tried to obey the law.
The debate seems to have veered off course a bit. My original point was that integration and fair housing efforts would not have a noticeable impact on the conditions of central city neighborhoods or result in a significant mobility opportunity for residents of those neighborhoods, and therefore a fair housing approach should not be used as a substitute for community development efforts. I stand by that and nothing that Professor Orfield has offered contradicts that argument. I am glad for the successes in Montgomery County, Md., and elsewhere. And while happy for them, I reiterate that there is no evidence whatsoever that any of those successes resulted in the desegregation of central city neighborhoods. Still, we need more affordable housing in the suburbs and all the better that it is occupied by people of color in otherwise predominantly white communities.
While I advocate for strong community development efforts and the need for affordable housing in central neighborhoods, I also acknowledge the need for integrative efforts in the suburbs and support those efforts. I sense, however, that the inverse is not true; that Professor Orfield is not willing to accept the proposition that community developers should continue to address the affordable housing needs of central neighborhoods.
On several occasions now Professor Orfield has noted the “opposition” of LISC, “community developers,” “central city leaders,” etc. to “civil rights goals.” I have allowed these points to go largely without rebuttal, but the argument seems to get more strident with each message. We are told that in the Twin Cities it is the community developers who have opposed civil rights goals. Are we to conclude that unless one agrees to essentially cutting off affordable housing work in central neighborhoods, then one is an opponent of civil rights goals? This is, of course, absurd and reflects an alarmingly narrow view of civil rights. My own view of civil rights in the area of housing goes a bit beyond integrating the suburbs.
But in Professor Orfield’s world, those of us, myself included, who advocate for affordable housing in central cities are comparable to Richard J. Daley. Really? Can Professor Orfield see no other possibilities? No nuance? We either agree to curtail meaningful affordable housing activity in the central cities or we are segregationists?
This is, it seems to me, a pretty rigid and extreme position. Extreme because it is a narrow focus on only one policy objective when it is demonstrably true that we have many affordable housing challenges. Extreme because it does not acknowledge the need for affordable housing in central neighborhoods. Extreme because it denies the benefits of affordable housing in those neighborhoods. Extreme because it would deprive disadvantaged communities the capital reinvestment they need. Finally, it is extreme because it would consciously underserve or ignore the needs of low-income families living in central cities who have no plans nor any desire to move to white suburbs.
Our way forward on the original question is clear: Aggressively pursue anti-discrimination in mortgage lending and in housing markets, reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing, increase housing choice in both the subsidized and private markets, and continue to pursue comprehensive community development that incorporates, as a central element, affordable housing.
Contrary to Professor Goetz’s arguments, segregation should not be accommodated as a natural and inevitable part of the landscape. It should be ended by using the law and the substantial leverage of housing, transportation, education and other large funding streams. Fair Housing obligations come from the Constitution and the Fair Housing Act. Preservation and community development must be harmonized with fair housing’s higher constitutional and statutory priority.
There are three interdependent major causes of segregation: 1) exclusionary practices by affluent white neighborhoods, sellers and rental agents, 2) discrimination by banks and realtors, and 3) the disproportionate placement of low-income housing in poor segregated neighborhoods. When colorblind housing developers oppose pro-integrative placement of affordable housing in legislatures, agencies, and courts, they become one of the important causes of segregation.
At the center of successful pro-integrative housing strategies, there are pro-integrative race-conscious community development corporations. At the center of the Montgomery County plan is the Innovation Housing Institute. Making Mount Laurel better are Fair Share and Isles; in the Twin Cities, Common Bond and Twin Cities Habitat; in Chicago, the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities; in Dallas, the Inclusive Communities Project.
There need to be more pro-integrative metropolitan Community Development Corporations (CDCs) with the capacity to build large projects and make communities, state and federal agencies, real estate agents and banks that are exclusionary obey the law. Metropolitan CDCs should support three different types of neighborhood CDCs, each suited for different types of metropolitan neighborhoods.
1. Non-white, segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods: CDCs in these neighborhoods should advocate for stably integrated, racially just and inclusive magnet schools; better transit service; higher-density, mixed-use redevelopment; and significant public reinvestment in every major form of public infrastructure. They should work on improved health care, early childhood education, tutoring, day care, and after-school activities. They should do everything consistent with helping these neighborhoods become and remain racially and socially integrated. They should build and maintain low-income housing, just not a disproportionate share of all the subsidized housing in the metropolitan area.
In Raleigh/Wake County North Carolina and Louisville/Jefferson County, high-performing magnet schools located in previously poor, non-white neighborhoods are the centerpiece of a metropolitan strategy that has helped keep their schools (and neighborhoods) racially integrated on a metropolitan basis for four decades.
2. Racially integrated communities: Nearly 40 percent of the population in America’s 50 largest metropolitan areas now lives in racially integrated urban and suburban neighborhoods. However, in America, integrated communities don’t stay integrated unless they have support from community organizations.
CDCs should form the core of stable integration organizations with local officials and other important community stakeholders that are racially inclusive. Integrated communities are often subject to very severe racial steering and mortgage lending discrimination. Stable integration CDCs should encourage and/or operate pro-integrative loans and mortgage insurance programs, document and prosecute claims of housing market discrimination, and create and operate pro-integrative marketing plans. They should be charged with building and maintaining housing that promotes stable integration. They should promote better race relations and more interracial contact, communication and understanding in local neighborhoods and at schools.
3. High-opportunity communities: This is the last third of metropolitan America. These are the communities with the best school, services and health care, the lowest taxes, and the most parks and open space. Here, CDCs should advocate (and if necessary litigate) for the reduction of barriers to affordable housing in zoning codes, development agreements and development practices. They should spearhead a dramatic increase in the amount of affordable housing for low-income families. They should develop this housing and make sure it is operated on a non-discriminatory basis.
Edward G. Goetz is the director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The author or editor of several books, including Clearing the Way: Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America, Goetz’s research focuses on issues of race and poverty and how they affect housing policy planning and development. Before joining the university he worked at the mayor’s Office of Housing and Economic Development in San Francisco and for several nonprofit community developers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Myron Orfield is the executive director of the Institute on Race and Poverty and a professor of law at the University of Minnesota. A non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an affiliate faculty member at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, he teaches and writes on civil rights, state and local government and finance, land use, regional governance, and the legislative process. Orfield served five terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and one term in the Minnesota Senate. His most recent book is Region: Planning the Future of the Twin Cities.
Posted in Journal Volume 2, Number 2 -- December, 2011, Housing, Foreclosures & Vacant Property