In commentary over new HUD plans to switch to subsidies by zip code rather than by what renters can pay,
KELLY: This is being described as something that President Obama has had in the works for years, but has only now found the guts to actually put out there as a Housing and Urban Development proposed final rule because his term is almost done and this is the time to do it. The last thing on the list? Change the neighborhoods.
KELLY: They don’t want, quote, “unequal neighborhoods.” Unequal neighborhoods. It – they think too many cities are too white, too privileged with too big McMansions, too big McMansions and they – they want to diverse the communities whether the communities want it or not…
If I had to guess, McMansions owners are probably disproportionately white. Perhaps these are the same people who are “proud Americans“!
Then Kelly provides the typical hard-work narrative to explain her own ability to live in a nice neighborhood:
KELLY: I mean, I didn’t grow up in a fancy neighborhood. I wanted to be in one, but we couldn’t afford it and you know, then getting to an adult, I made more money and now I live in a nice neighborhood. It’s alright. It’s a nice home. The neighborhood – anyway. The point is, that’s the way it was usually done. It’s not like, you must diversify because Uncle Sam feels it’s too white or it’s too rich.
Yet, leaving it simply to hard work and market forces leaves us where we are today and where we have been for decades: ongoing residential segregation. Vouchers by zip code rather than by price point could help poorer families access the places that have the good schools and other features that can help them get ahead.
I imagine this will draw more pushback as one of the themes running through whiter and wealthier communities is exclusivity.
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