Affordable housing and racial justice

Justice Lab worked in Spring 2016 with the Housing Unit of Community Legal Services to develop an advocacy agenda to maintain tenant protections and affordable housing for Philadelphians in HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration properties. The team’s findings and recommendations are set forth in Philadelphia Rental Assistance Demonstration Program Advocacy Guide: Solutions for Ensuring Tenant Rights and Long Term Affordability in RAD Conversions (also available from the CLS web site).

Now, Justice Lab is helping CLS develop a long-term strategy to address racial justice in affordable housing in Philadelphia.  Students are collecting and analyzing data about public housing properties, Section 8 contracts, demographics, income levels, gentrification trends, and other factors to identify ways to preserve affordable housing. This innovative work is enabling the students and CLS to develop proactive strategies to preserve equitable, affordable housing in Philadelphia. A recent Justice Lab report, Danger of the Opt Out, documents the problems likely to arise as landlords opt out of Section 8, and recommends steps to be taken to address these risks (which will disproportionately impact African-American residents).