Efforts made to foster inclusive communities and fair housing choice took a setback when the Trump administration last week rescinded the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. Virginia Tech expert LaDale Winling says this decision reverses the framework set forth to overcome historic patterns of racial exclusion and discrimination in America.

Quoting Winling

“The Trump administration's reversal of the Obama-era housing rule is an unfortunate step in a long line of actions that promote racial segregation and harms efforts for racial justice and equality,” says Winling. "There’s a long history of racial exclusion from suburbs dating back to the use of restrictive racial covenants in upper class suburbs in the late 19th century and federal redlining in the 1930s.”

Winling says that more recent efforts, such as the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the 2015 AFFH rule from the Obama administration, have only taken modest steps to break down the barriers of racial segregation in housing.

To further exacerbate this setback of racial justice and equality, Winling says that President Trump’s tweets in the days following this move are disheartening.  

“In the midst of a nationwide reckoning with racial injustice and inequality, it is hard to interpret these as good faith actions to promote homeownership, community quality of life, or urban development.”

About Winling



LaDale Winling is an associate professor of history and core member of the public history program at Virginia Tech. His research and teaching explore urban and political history in the United States. Winling is a co-creator of the project Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America, a digital archive of the redlining maps of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation. His book, Building the Ivory Tower, examined the role of American universities as real estate developers in the twentieth century. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, the New York Times, on National Public Radio, and other media outlets.

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