Public housing policy strategies can address both racial segregation and police brutality

Housing Matters, an Urban Institute Initiative, recently published a new piece in their Equitable Places series that proposes three policy strategies to combat both racial segregation and police brutality in public housing developments. Through a legacy of structurally racist policies, low-income neighborhoods of color are more likely to have public housing developments and to experience more encounters with police and higher use of force by police. Authors identify three specific policies that address these intersections to advance more equitable public safety. The first is to reinstate Fourth Amendment protections for those who live in public housing; currently, since public housing is legally public property, these residents aren’t protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. The second is to abolish nuisance ordinances and antiloitering laws that discourage public housing residents from calling the police in times of legitimate crisis, particularly instances of domestic violence. Finally, authors propose that the Fair Housing Act can be leveraged more effectively to challenge over-policing. For example, the Fair Housing Act can be used to challenge criminal background check requirements in housing applications, which have been used to exclude people of color from white suburbs. #racialequity

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