News Roundup

  • Flawed Property Taxes Assessments Disproportionately Affect Black Families

    The University of Chicago released a nationwide study highlighting long-standing inequities in local residential property tax systems across 2,600 US counties. The study showed local officials across the country systematically inflated home evaluations, which disproportionately placed unfair tax burdens on Black homeowners with low incomes and reduced opportunities for Black families to build generational wealth. “It’s a textbook example of institutional racism,” states Christopher Berry, a professor at the university’s Harris School of Public Policy.

  • Utah Invests in Affordable Housing and Homeless Services

    Utah recently approved $50 million in funding for affordable housing initiatives and homeless services, and private philanthropists have promised additional investments up to $730 million. The state will dedicate significant funds to preserving affordable housing, will develop a more robust Homeless Information Management System to create accountability among service providers, and the governor will appoint a state homeless coordinator who will lead a new Office of Homeless Services. 

  • An Omaha Nonprofit Will Convert a Church Into LGBT+ Youth Housing

    In Omaha, Nebraska, nonprofit organization Black and Pink is campaigning to renovate a former house of worship into a resources center, called Opportunity Campus, for LGBT+ youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Expecting to open in April, Opportunity Campus will provide housing, meals, and other resources to youth who have suffered housing discrimination and instability as a result of race, gender, incarceration, sexual orientation, and assault. “I don’t believe young people should have to sacrifice to be able to have a place to sleep at night," states Dominique Morgan, executive director of Black and Pink.

  • Would Ending Single-Family Zoning Help Solve California’s Housing Crisis?

    Last month, Berkeley officials proposed allowing multifamily dwellings on land zoned for single family homes to create more affordable housing. Other California localities have proposed similar efforts to alleviate the state’s homeless crisis and 3.5-million-unit housing shortage and redress for its centuries of discriminatory housing policies. “We cannot ignore that from the onset, zoning’s sole purpose was to segregate by race, to the detriment of people of color,” stated City Councilmember Ben Bartlett.