35 Pages

National Housing Policies and Black America: Trends, Issues, and Implications

WithJohn O. Calmore

HUD has administered programs aimed at increasing or improving the low-income housing supply. Since 1981 and the coming of Ronald Reagan, funding for adding to the supply of low-income housing has been radically reduced and occasionally knocked down to an annualized rate of zero, when pipeline purges, recaptures and rescissions are taken into account. In October 1981, President Reagan’s Commission on Housing concluded that affordability rather than an inadequate supply of housing was the major problem facing poor families. In 1949, Congress laid the cornerstone of national housing policy as “the realization as soon as feasible of the goal of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American Family. Black America’s housing problems are those of deprivation, compounded by racial discrimination and disproportionate economic class subjugation. The Reagan paradigm shifts in federal housing call for a move from project-based subsidies to housing allowances, and a radical reduction in federal spending for housing assistance.