Current zoning laws that favor single-family homes – known as exclusionary zoning – have disproportionately hurt low-income Americans.
Many of them can’t afford to buy a big lot of land, leaving them trapped in crowded neighborhoods earmarked in the past for Black and brown residents, while white families were able to move to single-family areas in the suburbs.
The bill has not been written, but the White House said it wants to see progress by Memorial Day, and to pass legislation this summer.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge told USA TODAY that the administration’s plan would support communities looking to undo housing practices that too often discriminate against people of color.
Under Biden, HUD recently submitted two fair housing rules for review, according to notices posted Tuesday by the Office of Management and Budget. One of the policies would reinstate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule requiring cities to reverse segregation or risk losing federal funds.
The other would restore “disparate impact,” a decades-old legal standard that outlaws discriminatory lending and renting practices.A majority of municipal governments have refused to eliminate zoning restrictions for decades, in large part because many taxpayers and developers don’t want it.