Interfaith Action Network Monthly
July 2019

Ready, Set, Action
Summer is here, and things are heating up in the fight for fair housing! Let’s take a look at what we’ve been up to and how you can continue to engage in this crucial work.
Below are some educational resources we recommend for you to learn more about fair housing.

  • There’s an update to last month’s item about proposed HUD rule changes affecting the ability of “mixed-status” families (where at least one person is undocumented) to receive federal housing subsidies. The House Appropriations Committee has released a draft of the FY2020 Transportation/HUD funding bill. In addition to providing a $5.9 billion increase in HUD funding, the bill blocks the proposed rule change, which would affect an estimated 108,000 tenants in 25,000 households. Strong pushback is expected in the Senate and the White House. President Trump’s proposed 2020 budget called for deep cuts in HUD programs. More coverage of the bill HERE.

  • Fair housing is not just housing. It’s schools. It’s employment. It’s access to transportation and decent grocery stores. It’s all the moment-by-moment challenges that affect our sense of security and our expectations of success. A new report by The Century Foundation looks at the long-term social and economic effects of residential segregation and the history of deliberate government policies that created and sustain it. The authors also offer specific new policy strategies to address the problem. The report is available online and for downloading from TCF’s website HERE.

  • Our book recommendation this month is Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works by economist Rucker C. Johnson. Decades after Brown v. Board of Ed, controversial busing policies, and white flight, many American schools today are as racially divided as ever. While many have given up on the promise of school integration as an equalizing force, Johnson demonstrates that it was, in fact, a spectacular achievement. Drawing on studies going back to the 1960s, he shows that students of ALL races who attended integrated and well-funded schools were more successful in life than those who did not. Contending that integrated, well-funded schools are the primary engine of social mobility, Children of the Dream offers a radical new take on social policy. Read more about this important new book HERE.
Time to get out and advocate in your community! Below are some advocacy updates and ways that you can get involved.

  • While we’re on the subject of school diversity, there’s an exciting new development here in NYC. On June 10th, the DOE announced it would be adopting nearly all of the policy recommendations put forth by the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG), a group of students, educators, parents, advocates and researchers appointed to advise Mayor DeBlasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza on diversity and integration policies. “Today we’re adopting changes that will expand opportunity for all students and ensure our school system better reflects the diversity of New York City,” said Chancellor Carranza. SDAG’s report contained many proposals made earlier by the New York City Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (ASID). As partners of ASID, we’ve been proud to share their policy agenda, Dare to Reimagine Integration in New York City's Pubic Schools in previous newsletters. Read more about the announcement HERE.

  • What does it take to really make a change in the lives of those struggling with housing inequality? What would real help look like? For advocates of fair and affordable housing, all eyes are on Columbus OH, home of a new pilot program, Move to Prosper, which has relocated ten struggling households from what it calls “low-opportunity neighborhoods” into “high-opportunity neighborhoods.” The program is an initiative of Ohio State University and community partners. In addition to $400 per month in rental assistance, Move to Prosper provides life coaching, career services, access to financial advisers, medical providers, and assistance in enrolling children in high performing local schools. Read more about this remarkable program HERE:

  • It’s not every day that fair housing advocates see clear legislative victories, but when we work together we CAN see results. In April we celebrated New York State’s passage of the Lawful Source of Income Act which outlaws discrimination against tenants who use housing subsidies and vouchers. This new law was due in part to the hard work of the #BanIncomeBiasNY Coalition, whose founding membership includes the FHJC. But laws need to be enforced, and enforcement of this brand-new statewide law was the topic of a free seminar hosted last month by CUNY School of Law. Dozens of participants from around the state gathered at CUNY and via online streaming to hear from experienced civil rights attorneys and others already fighting SOI discrimination in NYC, where it’s been illegal for 10 years. Our thanks to CUNY Law and to all presenters and participants. More about the seminar HERE.
Building the Beloved Community
Want to get involved in the Building the Beloved Community interfaith initiative in some other way? Below are some updates from our interfaith initiative:

  • One way we build the beloved community is by sharing our stories. When it comes to fair housing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by statistics and policy-speak, losing sight of the actual people at the heart of the issue. As a way of breaking through all the­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ complicated abstractions, we’re thrilled to announce the Fair Housing Monologues Project, an original theatrical production shedding new light on personal stories of discrimination and the fight for justice. The production is planned for April 2020, coinciding with Fair Housing Month. Check out our official announcement HERE, and stay tuned for more updates!

  • In the coming months, we will resume our training for representatives of diverse faith communities to become leaders and educators who will help us achieve our mission. Fair Housing Leaders will attend an in depth training where they will develop a fluency in fair housing issues and in how to use the FHJC’s Fair Housing Toolkit, among other resources, to educate and engage their community. If you are interested in attending a future leadership training and volunteering to become a Fair Housing Leader you can email the FHJC’s Community Engagement Coordinator Craig Waletzko at

And so the aftermath of violence is bitterness; the aftermath of non-violence is the creation of the beloved community

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from “Justice Without Violence,” April 3, 1957

Fair Housing Justice Center | 30-30 Northern Blvd., Suite 302, Long Island City, NY 11101
| (212) 400 - 8201 | (212) 400 - 8203 |