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Racial Equity in Inclusionary Housing

How can inclusionary housing programs best incorporate racial equity? These two reports focus on two important elements intended to engage both the process and outcome of racial equity: advancing racial equity through anti-racist methodologies that engage in transformative change, and advancing racial equity through specific technical elements of inclusionary housing policies, programs and practices.

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  • Race-conscious strategies are necessary to mitigate racist barriers and expand opportunities for people of color.
  • Neighborhoods and communities of color have varied needs and preferences. Impactful policy is informed by best practices, but ultimately designed in collaboration with those who will be directly affected.
  • There are multiple best practices for incorporating racial equity into an inclusionary housing program; this guide outlines 14 such practices.
  • While there is no perfect example of a racially equitable inclusionary housing program, there are programs that have incorporated one or more key elements that help advance racial equity; this guide shares examples.

Advancing Racial Equity in Housing and Community Development: An Anti-Racism Guide for Transformative Change outlines four different levels of how racism functions—internalized, interpersonal, institutional and structural, and provides anti-racist interventions at each of the four levels.

Advancing Racial Equity in Inclusionary Housing Programs: A Guide for Policy and Practice offers a series of recommendations for how to prioritize racial equity in inclusionary housing programs specifically, and spotlights an example of a best practice from the field for each recommendation. The recommendations are:

  1. Choose income targets for the affordable units that match those of renter households of color
  2. Require or encourage the construction of unit sizes that match the household sizes of renter households of color
  3. Adopt building design standards to avoid stigmatizing residents of affordable units
  4. Consider the use of city subsidies to advance racial equity goals
  5. Base the decision about compliance alternatives on the needs and preferences of households of color
  6. Establish high-bar marketing requirements to ensure renters of color have access
  7. Support preference policies that advance racial equity
  8. Require a lottery for applicant selection (rather than first-come, first-served)
  9. Set limits on resident selection screening criteria
  10. Require rental property owners to accept Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
  11. Collect and analyze data on the race and ethnicity of those served by affordable units
  12. Base the decision about which resale formula to use on feedback from people of color and equity-oriented organizations
  13. Require lasting affordability for affordable units
  14. Partner with a Community Land Trust for stewardship of affordable units

This collection of resources includes:

  • A 17-page report on advancing racial equity in housing and community development through anti-racist methodologies that engage in transformative change.
  • A 12-page report on advancing racial equity through specific technical elements of inclusionary housing policies, programs and practices.

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