Part III: Housing 

The Kerner Commission and Housing Policy

The Perils of Desegregation

The Kerner Commission rejected the alternative courses of continuing present policies or simply attempting to improve conditions in existing segregated African American neighborhoods. These options, the Commission believed, would be inadequate to prevent future disorders based upon racial grievance. The Commission’s decision to endorse a third alternative—combining improvement of those neighborhoods with suburban integration—was courageous, but not courageous enough. For affordable housing advocates, it has always been too easy to give lip service to integration while attempting only to revitalize low-income minority communities. And even so, revitalization attempts have been half-hearted and conspicuously unsuccessful.

In one respect, renewed investment in low-income minority neighborhoods and promotion of integration are interdependent. Homeowners in low-income neighborhoods whose properties grow in value should be able to gain in wealth from their rising home equity, making it more feasible for these families to trade that equity for desegregated housing, should they choose to do so. Yet except in gentrifying neighborhoods, this has too infrequently been the case. Very few residents of high-poverty neighborhoods have been able to build substantial equity from homeownership, because property values in those neighborhoods have tended to rise more slowly, if at all, than values in low-poverty neighborhoods.

Too often, the integration imperative and the need to provide safe, decent, affordable housing is framed as either-or policy options. The lack of affordable housing entails great suffering by families, particularly African Americans, who very conspicuously lack decent places to live. It is an urgent and visible need. Racial residential segregation undermines the possibility of a national community with a sense of shared purpose and common destiny; this is a less immediate danger and more difficult to perceive and fully appreciate. The benefits of assuring a roof over one’s head are palpable; the costs of physically adequate but segregated housing for low-income African Americans—lower educational outcomes, reduced life-expectancy, greater unemployment, exposure to violence, dysfunctional relationships with police, and political polarization—are more indirect, but are not ameliorated by improved housing per se.

There is nothing easy about pursuing racial integration, and it can only be accomplished by those who recognize the sacrifices involved. The affordable housing crisis in 1968 was real and immediate, while the crisis of segregation was more abstract, but with profound consequences, as the Kerner Commission discovered. Both crises continue today, with neither being satisfactorily addressed.

The Kerner Commission’s 1968 report on housing began with a dramatic account of the inadequate conditions in which so many African Americans, residing in segregated urban neighborhoods, then lived. In the large cities that had recently experienced riots by dissatisfied African Americans, nearly 40 percent of non white residents occupied housing that was either deteriorating, dilapidated, or without full plumbing.115 In the specific neighborhoods where riots took place, the share was much higher. What’s more, the Commission reported that in metropolitan areas, 25 percent of non whites, but only 8 percent of whites, were living in overcrowded units.116

African Americans also paid more for housing than whites paid for similar units. Because Black families had so few areas where they were permitted to live, landlords exploited their desperation by charging exploitive rents. A discriminatory mortgage market resulted in African American homeowners paying higher interest on home loans, or being unable to obtain conventional amortized mortgages at any interest rate. The Commission concluded that non whites in metropolitan areas paid a “color tax” that was well over 10 percent of their housing costs.117 Federal programs had done little to ameliorate these conditions; indeed, the Commission charged that government had exacerbated them. In the three decades preceding the Commission’s report, government had created only 800,000 units of subsidized housing for economically disadvantaged families while insuring mortgages on over 10 million middle-and upper-income dwellings.118

Today, few families live without plumbing or heat, and fewer risk death by fire caused by space heaters or makeshift sources of heat. But partly as a consequence of stricter but well-intentioned building codes that addressed these conditions, more families are homeless and overcrowding persists. It should be obvious that requiring housing to be safer and healthier necessarily makes housing more expensive. By doing more to address safety than affordability, we’ve ensured a crisis of homelessness.

To respond to the housing crisis in 1968, the Kerner Commission proposed that government programs support the creation of 600,000 additional units of  low- and moderate-income housing within the next year alone, and 6 million units over the next five years. It advocated interest rate subsidies for low-income homeowners and tax subsidies for developers of low-income housing, an expanded rent supplement program, and more public housing.

To advance desegregation, the Commission also proposed a national prohibition on discrimination in the sale and rental of housing that would enable African Americans who wanted and could afford to live in middle-class communities, to do so. Called “open housing,” the recommendation was fulfilled in the form of the Fair Housing Act two months after the Commission’s report. It has resulted in modest advances in integration for middle-class African American families. The Commission also proposed that “more” low- and moderate-income housing be placed outside minority areas. Indeed, it concluded its review of housing policy by stating:

We believe that federally aided low and moderate income housing programs must be reoriented so that the major thrust is in nonghetto areas. Public housing programs should emphasize scattered site construction, rent supplements should, wherever possible, be used in nonghetto areas, and an intensive effort should be made to recruit below-market interest rate sponsors willing to build outside the ghettos. The reorientation of these programs is particularly critical in light of our recommendation that 6 million low and middle-income housing units be made available over the next five years. If the effort is not to be counter-productive, its main thrust must be in nonghetto areas, particularly those outside the central city [emphases added].119

Surely, the commission members recognized that such racial integration would be both organizationally challenging and politically perilous. Perhaps it was courageous enough to call for desegregation, and devotion of any attention to how we could overcome the enormous obstacles would have been foolhardy. But that, of course, was the problem. The Commission was willing to go only so far. Certainly, the goal of 6 million new units was never approached, but the striking thing about this passage was its acknowledgement that continuing to put units in already-segregated neighborhoods would be counterproductive. And, indeed, the subsequent counterproductive focus of what Kerner Commission conference panelist Myron Orfield called the “poverty housing industry” on revitalization of those neighborhoods (nowadays, typically called “place-based” strategies) has reinforced the concentration of low-income African Americans and their resulting academic achievement gap, shorter life expectancies, exposure to violence, and excessive incarceration, and for the nation: growing and dangerous political racial polarization.

The Debate over Residential Segregation before the Kerner Commission Report

The Kerner Commission’s insistence on “both and”— improving conditions in minority neighborhoods and creating a priority for desegregation—was not new. It was conventional in progressive advocacy of that era, and remains so today. The belief of reformers that a near-exclusive focus on revitalization, not desegregation, would be counterproductive predated the Kerner Commission. Indeed, before the Commission began its deliberations, and before Johnson’s own political capital had eroded in the wake of his aggressive pursuit of war in Vietnam, administration officials were more explicit about the priority of integration than the Kerner Commission itself. Compared to earlier administration debates, the Kerner Commission’s advocacy of desegregation was relatively timid.

In January 1966, President Johnson proposed a “Model Cities” program to fund planning for the desegregation of metropolitan areas. In his message to Congress, Johnson said that “[t]he impact of the racial ghetto will become a thing of the past only when the Negro American can move his family wherever he can afford to do so.”120 Secretary of Housing  and Urban Development Robert Weaver warned that the program funds could not be used only to improve the housing stock of existing low-income segregated neighborhoods: “[we] must proceed in tandem with simultaneous moves to open up housing occupancy to all potential customers throughout the whole metropolitan area.” Yet when the program was adopted by Congress, Johnson’s proposal that funds be used to compel metropolitan areas to desegregate was deleted. Control was placed in the hands of local officials who refused to use the funds for desegregation, and who made clear that they would not accept funds if compelled to desegregate.121

Also in 1966, a DOJ task force proposed using federal funds to induce suburbs to change their zoning laws to “facilitate the construction of non-ghetto open housing within economic reach of low and moderate income nonwhites.” Insistence on zoning reform, perhaps the most critical element in a successful desegregation program, was conspicuously absent from the Commission report—the term “zoning” does not even appear in the report’s index. Another 1966 task force, this one reporting directly to the White House, asserted that the federal government “bears a large share of the responsibility” for racial segregation because of Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration policies, and that “low-income urban families will never find adequate housing, no matter how much federal assistance is offered, unless some way can be found to break down the locally imposed barriers that prevent such families from moving out” of low-income segregated neighborhoods. The task force advocated federal subsidies for low- and moderate-income housing in the suburbs. A third Johnson administration task force on suburban problems also recommended an explicit policy to desegregate suburbs.122

Advocates of integration within the Johnson administration were resisted by a combination of liberals, conservatives, segregationist Democrats, and radical civil rights advocates of “black power,” whose priority was to revive African American communities from within. At a planning conference in late 1965, intended to lead to a full White House Conference on Civil Rights, National Urban League President Whitney Young stated that “for years in the civil rights movement we said we did not want any new schools, we don’t want any new hospitals, we don’t want anything new in a Negro neighborhood because this reinforced the segregated pattern. What is our position now?” Young answered his own question by saying that he now only wanted quality schools and facilities in Black neighborhoods.123

Many white liberals agreed with Young’s position, believing that political resistance to integration was so intense that the goal of integration was unachievable. They proposed instead programs to rebuild the African American neighborhoods into more livable and, in the view of some, even self-sustaining communities. Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward were the most influential of the liberals, writing in 1966 in The New Republic that “strategies must be found to improve ghetto housing without arousing the ire of powerful segments of the white community.” The reason we don’t invest more in ghetto revitalization, they said, was that suburban whites fear that attention to the problems of African Americans in urban areas will be an invitation to a Black “invasion.” If liberals unequivocally forswear integration, Piven and Cloward argued, more urban investments might be forthcoming.124 Their approach failed spectacularly. Since the 1960s, liberals have mostly been silent about integration, but this silence has not purchased substantial “place-based” investments that channel significant resources into deprived and historically disinvested communities. Instead, many low-income neighborhoods have been allowed to fester and decay.

Charles Haar, the Johnson administration’s assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development responsible for administering the Model Cities program, countered by warning Johnson that Black urban areas could well require military or police occupation if desegregation did not occur. He urged state laws to ban exclusionary zoning, and proposed a “New Communities” program in which the federal government would subsidize the building of new purposefully integrated suburbs, built from scratch.125  Johnson had proposed federal aid for new towns as early as 1964, but Haar’s plea was to pursue the idea for purposes of building integrated communities. Johnson agreed, and the program was authorized in the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, but inadequately funded to succeed.126

Kenneth B. Clark, the social scientist whose research supported the Supreme Court’s 1954 conclusion that separate could never be equal, and who testified before the Kerner Commission, argued in the mid1960s against the new fashion of compensatory education as a substitute for school integration, saying the most it could accomplish, even if funded much more generously than it was in the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act, would be a new form of “separate but equal.”127 Even this prediction was overly optimistic. Real compensatory education funding today is many times higher than it was in 1968, yet compensatory education’s share of total school
spending is about the same, and urban schools remain more separate than equal.128

These debates all took place before the Kerner Commission issued its report. The lines had already been drawn between the Commission’s reform alternatives: revitalization alone and revitalization accompanied by integration. It continued to play out in the 1968 presidential campaign when, in the Democratic primaries, candidate Eugene McCarthy advocated an emphasis on desegregation, while candidate Robert Kennedy advocated low-income neighborhood revitalization.129

George Romney’s Open Communities

Eight months after the Kerner Commission issued its report, Richard Nixon was elected president; the controversy continued to flare during the first two years of his presidency. Nixon’s first secretary of
Housing and Urban Development, George Romney, embraced Charles Haar’s proposal from the previous Democratic administration to ban the use of zoning ordinances to prevent integration. Barely concealing its provenance, Romney termed his program “Open Communities,” a program to withhold federal funds from segregated white suburbs that failed to repeal exclusionary zoning rules and that refused to accept public and subsidized low-income housing.

The Nixon administration was divided over whether to support Romney’s Open Communities policy. One of its supporters was Vice-President Spiro Agnew who, before election to national office in 1968, had been county executive of Baltimore County and later governor of Maryland. He recognized that the seemingly intractable race-relations problems he faced were mostly attributable to the concentration and over crowding of Black families in Baltimore city and their exclusion from the suburbs.130

Agnew criticized the Johnson administration’s attempts to solve the country’s racial problems by pouring money into the inner city. Agnew said that he flatly rejected the assumption that “because the primary problems of race and poverty are found in the ghettos of urban America, the solutions to these problems must also be found there…Resources needed to solve the urban poverty problem–land, money, and jobs–exist in substantial supply in suburban areas, but are not being sufficiently utilized in solving inner-city problems.”131

Romney also had a key ally in the White House, domestic policy coordinator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who had advised Nixon early in his term that “the poverty and isolation of minority groups in central cities is the single most serious problem of the American city today.” Like Agnew, he criticized the Johnson administration’s approach of trying to ameliorate the problems of African Americans solely by programs designed to improve life in low-income areas. He referred to this approach as “gilding the ghetto,” and while Moynihan did not oppose additional resources for urban neighborhoods (indeed, he thought them necessary), he said that “efforts to improve the conditions of life in the present caste-created slums must never take precedence over efforts to enable the slum population to disperse throughout the metropolitan areas involved.” Focusing specifically on the educational challenge of the Black-white achievement gap, Moynihan argued that compensatory education has been and would continue to be ineffective—the real answer is to put disadvantaged children into a better environment.132

And Romney had a few allies outside the administration as well. The civil rights community was divided, with some activists supporting a priority emphasis on inner-city programs, and others favoring suburban integration. A powerful lobby, the National Association of Home Builders, supported the Open Communities initiative because its members saw profit potential in the construction of subsidized suburban housing.133

Romney then proceeded to withhold federal funds from three all-white suburban areas that refused to take steps to desegregate. He told suburban officials, “You can try to hermetically seal [your all-white community] off from the surrounding areas if you want to, but you won’t do it with federal money… Black people have as much right to equal opportunities as we do. God knows, they have suffered so much they may have more right…This problem is the most important one America has ever faced.”134

But Nixon then reined Romney in and demanded the cancellation of the Open Communities program. Romney complied, and we’ve seen nothing so aggressive since.

In 1977, Carter administration Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Patricia Harris attempted to revive Romney’s initiative, proposing regulations to withhold funds from suburbs that refused to modify exclusionary zoning laws to permit more low- and moderate-income housing. Congress rejected her proposal.135 In 1993, Clinton administration housing officials denounced the continued isolation of low-income minorities in low-income urban neighborhoods and the federal government’s past policies of exacerbating that isolation by placing public housing projects in those areas. But administration officials suggested nothing meaningful to undo this segregation, vowing only to do a better job of enforcing non discrimination laws against banks and realtors and to provide counseling to low-income minority residents to make them aware of suburban housing opportunities.136 It also promoted a “Bridges to Work” program that provided transportation assistance to help low-income urban workers commute to jobs in the suburbs. As this program did not threaten residential integration of those suburbs, it encountered little opposition from suburban officials.

The Obama administration adopted a requirement that communities analyze the reasons for their lack of integration, and propose plans to combat it. If suburbs failed to follow through with these plans and “affirmatively further fair housing,” loss of federal funds might follow. But before the initial analyses were completed, the Trump administration suspended the rule, modest though it was in comparison to the approaches of Housing and Urban Development secretaries Romney and Harris.137

Housing Policy since the Kerner Commission Report

Few of the Kerner Commission recommendations in the field of housing were implemented. Those adopted were in far more modest form or scope than the Commission believed necessary.

The Commission called for an expanded Model Cities program, despite the program’s having been stripped of its desegregation elements. President George HW. Bush’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Jack Kemp, was the nation’s most prominent advocate of using tax breaks to entice businesses to locate in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. He was unsuccessful in getting Congress to approve his “enterprise zone” proposal, but one was finally enacted in 1993 at the beginning of the Clinton administration, and the program was expanded several times during the Clinton presidency. There was no evidence that these tax breaks succeeded in generating significantly increased employment or economic growth in the urban neighborhoods where they were employed. In 2017, tax reform legislation adopted by Congress and signed by President Trump included a new iteration of this approach, now termed “opportunity zones.” It provides even greater tax breaks for businesses that invest in low-income neighborhoods, but defines such neighborhoods so broadly that it is unlikely to provide much benefit to truly low-income neighborhoods or their residents.139

The Kerner Commission called for a federal write-down of interest rates on loans to private builders of housing for low-income families. Instead, federal policy has provided tax credits for such builders. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, currently the largest federal affordable housing program, has mostly been used to create more (and better quality) housing in already low-income segregated neighborhoods.140  Predominantly white suburbs typically have single-family-only zoning ordinances that prohibit the construction of such housing without variances, and community opposition to granting the variances is usually too great to permit builders to proceed profitably. To maximize the value of the credit, builders site such developments disproportionately in racially and economically segregated neighborhoods.

The Kerner Commission called for a rent subsidy program for low-income families. The policy adoption most similar to this recommendation has been the Housing Choice Voucher program (commonly termed “Section 8”), which has now replaced public housing construction and is underfunded. Only about one-quarter of eligible families receive the subsidy because of limited appropriations and those who eventually get a voucher have frequently been wait-listed for years. Few of those who do obtain a voucher can use them in integrated neighborhoods, also because zoning ordinances inhibit the construction of affordable apartments. Landlords in middle-class communities typically refuse rentals to voucher families, and these refusals are not considered discriminatory under the Fair Housing Act. Going beyond the Act’s requirements, some communities have prohibited refusals by landlords to rent to subsidized applicants, but most communities have not.

Housing Policy Today

Some important Kerner Commission recommendations were not implemented, even in token form. The Commission recommended, for example, an expanded and diversified public housing program. Today, we tend to think of public housing as a program for the poor, but this is a perversion of the public housing concept. When the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration created the nation’s first civilian public housing, it was designed for working-class families with stable full-time employment but low incomes. They were able to pay the full cost of the public units in rent, requiring no public subsidy. The poor were not permitted to apply. Later, as lower-income families were admitted to public housing (and subsidized), the projects became economically diverse. However, in a tragically misguided but well-intended policy shift, workingclass families were evicted from public housing to make room for the poor, whose need for adequate housing was desperate. If poor families improved their economic conditions, public housing authorities evicted them when their incomes rose above a low-income
cutoff. Public housing thus became a system for ware housing the poor, concentrating poverty and the myriad ills that flow therefrom. Projects where the poor were concentrated and isolated then exacerbated the consequences of segregation.

The nation should again embrace diversified public housing as a partial solution for our housing crisis. Projects should include market-rate units where middle-class families pay the full cost of the housing in rent, as well as units of similar quality with subsidies for working-class and poor families. Public housing authorities should place such projects in middle-class suburban as well as urban neighborhoods, and particularly in gentrifying neighborhoods as a means of preserving their integration. Publicly constructed and operated projects like this are a more efficient way of addressing our housing crisis than tax credits for private builders.

Such transformation of public housing is not presently part of our mainstream policy conversation. As a much less desirable alternative, but still an improvement over present practice, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (HTC) should be modified along similar lines. The Treasury Department and state governments should create a priority in the LIHTC program for permanently mixed income projects in gentrifying or predominantly middle-class and white communities.141

In recent years, cities have implemented their own programs to create affordable housing, typically by granting height and density concessions in return for developer set-asides of small shares of units for low-income families. Cities should require, however, that the low-income families be fully integrated into the project, unlike a notorious project in New York City where a developer acceded to the set-aside requirement but then created a separate building entrance that low-income tenants were required to use.142

The Housing Choice Voucher program should be transformed into an entitlement, like the federal program to subsidize single-family homeownership. All eligible homeowners receive a federal income tax reduction for mortgage interest and state tax payments. In 2015, the mortgage interest deduction amounted to $71 billion.143 The Internal Revenue Service did not tell homeowners that, notwithstanding their eligibility, the appropriation for the tax break has run out and they cannot receive the benefit.144 But that is what we tell lower-income renters when it comes to the Housing Choice Voucher program. This different treatment in middle-class and lower-income federal housing support is indefensible. Its most obvious consequence is a national crisis of homelessness for families whose incomes are too low to afford rentals in increasingly expensive housing markets.

Reforms in the Housing Choice Voucher program should also promote racial integration. The subsidy should be increased to permit rentals in higher-cost middle-class communities. Fair housing groups in a few communities have found ways to implement mobility programs in which Section 8 families can use their vouchers in higher cost communities—in some instances, litigation settlements (in cases that demonstrated a history of racial segregation in public housing programs) have included additional resources to support mobility, and in others, private foundations have contributed to enhanced vouchers.145  But these efforts are necessarily token. The Obama administration adopted a rule permitting local housing authorities to make adjustments in subsidy levels according to community rental costs, following a successful demonstration in five cities; the Trump administration initially declined to enforce the rule but then acceded in response to a federal district court order.146  Only a few public housing authorities have taken advantage of this flexibility, however. Discrimination by landlords against Section 8 families on the basis of “source of income” should also be deemed a violation of the Fair Housing Act, and made impermissible under federal law.

None of these reforms to promote desegregation can be sufficiently extensive unless the nation requires the modification of zoning rules that many predominantly white communities employ to preserve racial and economic homogeneity. Zoning rules are appropriate when they distinguish areas suitable for residence from those suitable for industrial or large commercial enterprises. But they are not appropriate when employed to prohibit the construction of town houses, low-rise apartments, and even single-family homes on small lot sizes in middle-class neighborhoods. Every jurisdiction should be open to families of all races, ethnicities, and income levels. Only in this way can we create a common national community that our democracy requires.

Gentrification has caused great hardship and turmoil in some historically low-income communities whose residents have been forced out by rising housing costs. Communities with an influx of higher-income residents or rising owner occupancy can improve the lives of local residents if these conditions result in more racially and economically integrated communities, and do not ultimately cause the wholesale displacement of existing residents. This requires rent controls, restrictions on condominium conversions, impediments placed on purchases by absentee owners, and inclusionary requirements for new housing

At the Kerner Commission conference, John Koskinen proposed another reform that would prevent homeowners in urban communities from having to sell their homes because they can no longer afford rising property taxes that result from higher home values. The Koskinen plan would freeze property taxes for existing residents (or restrict growth to an affordable rate), much like Proposition 13 has done in California. But Proposition 13 had a harmful consequence—starving local schools and other local services of desperately needed revenue. Koskinen proposed modifying the Proposition 13 model by requiring homeowners to repay the forgiven property tax obligation when they eventually sell their homes. Homeowners would still reap a substantial gain from equity appreciation, but a portion of that gain would be shared with the community for schools and other services.

Preserving a share of housing for existing residents in gentrifying neighborhoods is only half the solution, however. No matter how well that share is preserved, many former residents will be displaced. What is necessary is to ensure that these residents have options to relocate to high-opportunity communities, not, as is too often the case today, only to newly segregated low-income neighborhoods, typically in first-ring suburbs, or in far-flung exurbs with inadequate infrastructure or service provision, including reasonable transportation options by which residents can access good employment opportunities. 


  • 115Data are for 1960 and are the average of numbers in the right column of the table. “Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (The Kerner Report),” 468.
  • 116Data are for 1960. “Report of the National Advi - sory Commission on Civil Disorders (The Kerner Report),” 470
  • 117“Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (The Kerner Report),” 471.
  • 118“Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (The Kerner Report),” 474.
  • 119“Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (The Kerner Report),” 482.
  • 120Lyndon B. Johnson, “Special Message to the Congress Recommending a Program for Cit - ies and Metropolitan Areas” (The American Presidency Project, January 26, 1966), https:// - cial-message-the-congress-recommending-pro - gram-for-cities-and-metropolitan-areas.
  • 121Cited in Mark Santow, “The ‘Long 1966’–Model Cities and the Spatial Dilemmas of Modern Segregation,” forthcoming.
  • 122Mark Santow and Richard Rothstein, “A Different Kind of Choice: Educational Inequality and the Continuing Significance of Racial Segregation” (Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, August 22, 2012), n51, publication/educational-inequality-racial-segre - gation-significance/.
  • 123Yuill, “The 1966 White House Conference on Civil Rights.”
  • 124Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward, “Desegregated Housing. Who Pays for the Re - formers’ Ideal?,” The New Republic 255, no. 25 (1966): 17–22; Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward, “The Case Against Urban Desegre - gation,” Social Work 12, no. 1 (1967): 12–21.
  • 125Charles M. Haar, “Thinking the Unthinkable about Our Cities: A Scenario in Four Parts (1967),” Journal of Urban History 25, no. 1 (1998): 57–74; Bruce M. Stave, “A Conversa - tion with Charles M. Haar. Urban History and the Great Society,” Journal of Urban History 25, no. 1 (1998): 75–93.
  • 126The project was expanded in The Urban Growth and New Community Development Act of 1970, and several integrated new towns were constructed, using the act’s subsidies. But the towns mostly failed because they were located too far from cities to attract white middle class commuters. The towns included substantial minority residents, but suburban communities closer to the urban centers remained mostly all-white. Nicholas Dagen Bloom, Merchant of Illusion: James Rouse, America’s Salesman of the Businessman’s Utopia (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2004), Chapter 5.
  • 127Kevin L. Yuill, “The 1966 White House Con - ference on Civil Rights,” The Historical Journal 41, no. 1 (March 1998): 259–82, https://doi. org/10.1017/S0018246X97007723.
  • 128The most recent estimate of compensatory education spending as a share of total spending was based on expenditure data from 2005. Juan Diego Alonso and Richard Rothstein, “Where Has the Money Been Going?” (Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, Octo - ber 28, 2010), Table 7, https://www.epi. org/files/page/-/pdf/bp281.pdf
  • 129Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Robert Ken - nedy and His Times (Boston: Hough - ton Mifflin Harcourt, 1980), 951–52.
  • 130William Liley III, “Housing Report. Romney Faces Political Perils with Plan to Integrate Suburbs,” The National Journal, no. 2 (October 17, 1970): 2251–63.
  • 131Liley III; Christopher Bonastia, Knock - ing on the Door: The Federal Gov - ernment’s Attempt to Desegregate the Suburbs (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 105–8, 135–36; Michael N. Danielson, The Politics of Exclusion (New York: Colum - bia University Press, 1976), 219–20; Hugh McDonald, “’Integrate or Lose Funds.’ Warren Was Given Romney Ultimatum,” The Detroit News, July 24, 1970, sec. 1A, 6A; Charles M. Lamb, Housing Segregation in Suburban America Since 1960: Presidential and Judicial Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 60–84; John Herbers, “Romney Making His Greatest Impact Outside Government by Chal - lenging U.S. Institutions,” The New York Times, May 15, 1969.
  • 132Liley III, “Housing Report. Romney Faces Political Perils with Plan to Integrate Suburbs.”
  • 133Liley III; National Association of Home Builders, “Barba Urges Retention of Tested FHA Housing Programs in HUD’s Proposed Revision of Nation’s Housing Laws,” NAHB Washington Scope, June 12, 1970.
  • 134McDonald, “’Integrate or Lose Funds.’ Warren Was Given Romney Ultimatum.”
  • 135Lamb, Housing Segregation in Subur - ban America since 1960, 174–80.
  • 136H. Jane Lehman, “HUD Promotes Sub - urban Opportunity for Urban Poor,” The Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1993.
  • 137“Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (Washington, D.C.: Poverty and Race Research Action Council, 2018), - tively-furthering-fair-housing/.
  • 139Steve Rosenthal. “Opportunity Zones May Help Investors and Syndicators More than Distressed Communities.” Forbes, August 20, 2018. stevenrosenthal/2018/08/20/opportu - nity-zones-may-help-investors-and-syn - dicators-more-than-distressed-commu - nities/#9a9506076f2d.
  • 140“Brief of Housing Scholars as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondent, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, et Al., Petitioners, v. The Inclu - sive Communities Project, Inc., Respon - dent.” (Berkeley, CA: Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, December 23, 2014).
  • 141In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the disparate place - ment of LIHTC projects in low-income minority neighborhoods could violate the Fair Housing Act. Although the Court did not find that the Dallas, Texas, LIHTC program under consideration did, in fact, violate the Act, the decision created pressure for HUD and Dallas to place more projects in higher oppor - tunity areas. “Brief of Housing Scholars as Amici Curiae Supporting Respon - dent, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, et Al., Petitioners, v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., Respondent.”; “The Low Income Hous - ing Tax Credit” (Washington, D.C.: Pov - erty and Race Research Action Council, 2018), the-low-income-housing-tax-credit/.
  • 142Justin Wm. Moyer, “NYC Bans ‘Poor Doors’—Separate Entrances for Low-In - come Tenants,” The Washington Post, June 30, 2015, https://www.wash - wp/2015/06/30/nyc-bans-poor-doorsseparate-entrances-for-low-income-ten - ants/?utm_term=.adfdaae4212a.
  • 143Matthew Desmond, “How Homeown - ership Became the Engine of American Inequality,” The New York Times, May 9, 2017, https://www.nytimes. com/2017/05/09/magazine/how-home - ownership-became-the-engine-of-ameri - can-inequality.html.
  • 144The 2017 tax reform legislation restrict - ed the use of the mortgage interest deduction, but not its entitlement char - acter. Any homeowner who qualifies under the new, more restricted rules can claim the benefit.
  • 145“Housing Mobility Initiative” (Washing - ton, D.C.: Poverty and Race Research Action Council, 2018), https://prrac. org/all-articles-under-the-housing-mobil - ity-initiative/.
  • 146Meryl Finkel et al., “Small Area Fair Market Rent Demonstration Evaluation: Interim Report” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban De - velopment, August 15, 2017), https:// SAFMR-Interim-Report.html.