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PRESIDENT CALLS ON CONGRESS TO PASS HISTORIC REFORMS TO INTEGRATE PUBLIC HOUSING
President Clinton announced today that Congress should pass a legislative proposal that will end racial and income segregation in public housing and will result in "true, historic reform" of public housing by making it "a model of One America in the 21st century."
At last night's Congressional Black Caucus dinner, President Clinton announced that he had directed Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo to seek a major legislative overhaul in the admissions policy of public housing. The legislative proposal would require every public housing authority to submit an admissions plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval. The admissions plan would detail the present demographics of the authority's housing and outline how the authority proposed to reduce the poverty and thus racial concentration through new admissions.
President Clinton said last night, "We cannot rest while any communities are thoroughly segregated by income or by race. The federal government should lead the way in word and deed. I have directed Secretary Cuomo to seek a major legislative overhaul in the admission policy for public housing, to deconcentrate poverty, mix incomes, and thereby mix racial balances for Americans.
"Tonight I ask all of you to send a clear message to Congress with me: don't send me a public housing bill that doesn't include our admission reforms - reforms that will make public housing a model of one America in the 21st century."
Cuomo said he has had preliminary discussion with legislative leaders about the admission policy and is "cautiously optimistic" about its inclusion in a public housing bill, currently being discussed on Capitol Hill. Cuomo said he would vehemently oppose any public housing legislation that did not reflect this policy.
"Public housing is all too often segregated by income and race. There are 'white buildings' and 'black buildings,' 'Latino buildings,' and 'welfare buildings.' Any bill that does not have this proposal is 'reform' in name only. This proposal would truly reform the heart and soul of public housing. The admission policy would represent a historic change in public housing," said Cuomo.
HUD is seeking to include in the public housing bill what Cuomo has referred to as the "x factor" analysis - an admission policy that would qualify lower-income families to move into higher-income housing developments. Likewise, higher-income families would be admitted into lower-income developments. This admission policy is designed to ensure true income-mixing and thus racial balance in public housing.
A graphic illustration of the "x factor" admissions policy appears below:
Content Archived: January 20, 2009