2nd installment of ProPublica Fair Housing investigation details Westchester, NY problems

The second article in a major investigative series titled “Living Apart: Fair Housing in America” about HUD’s enforcement of fair housing laws ran today in ProPublica. The subject of this second story is the stalemate in resolving a court ordered fair housing settlement agreement in the Westchester County, NY case that attracted national attention in 2009.

The article’s headline, “Soft on Segregation: How the Feds Failed to Integrate Westchester County” pretty much sums up the story’s conclusion. The story is very well done and worth reading.

As I wrote following publication of the first article in the series, my experience with HUD is more positive than the ProPublica series portrays. With regard to the Texas conciliation agreement, senior HUD staff within the divisions that oversee Fair Housing and block grants and in the Secretary’s office have thus far insisted that the conciliation agreement be followed.

Texas state officials have not shown the type of aggressive obstruction that the Westchester County executive has demonstrated. We will find out over the course of the next two years as the details of the Texas conciliation agreement are fully implemented whether Texas continues to follow a more constructive approach and works to bring itself into compliance with fair housing law.