Furthering Fair Housing

Prospects for Racial Justice in America's Neighborhoods

Edited by Justin P. Steil, Nicholas F. Kelly, Lawrence J. Vale, and Maia S. Woluchem
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2073-2
Publication: Mar 21

HC: $110.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-2072-5
Publication: Mar 21

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2074-9
Publication: Mar 21

256 pages
6 x 9
8 tables, 9 figs.

Analyzing federal policy to advance racial equity in housing and neighborhoods

Read an excerpt from the Introduction (pdf)


The 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule was the most significant federal effort to increase equality of access to place-based resources and opportunities, such as high-performing schools or access to jobs, since the 1968 Fair Housing Act. However, in an effort to appeal to suburban voters, the Trump administration repealed the rule in 2020, leaving its future in doubt.

Furthering Fair Housing analyzes multiple dimensions of this rule, identifying failures of past efforts to increase housing choice, exploring how the AFFH Rule was crafted, measuring the initial effects of the rule before its rescission, and examining its interaction with other contemporary housing issues, such as affordability, gentrification, anti-displacement, and zoning policies.

The editors and contributors to this volume—a mix of civil rights advocates, policymakers, and public officials—provide critical perspectives and identify promising new directions for future policies and practices. Placing the history of fair housing in the context of the centuries-long struggle for racial equity, Furthering Fair Housing shows how this policy can be revived and enhanced to advance racial equity in America’s neighborhoods.

Contributors: Vicki Been, Raphael Bostic, Edward G. Goetz, Megan Haberle, Howard Husock, Reed Jordan, Michael C. Lens, Katherine O’Regan, Patrick Pontius, Alexander von Hoffman, and the editors

Table of Contents


Introduction: Fair Housing: Promises, Protests, and Prospects for Racial Equity in Housing / Justin P. Steil, Nicholas F. Kelly, Lawrence J. Vale, and Maia S. Woluchem

1. The Origins of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 / Alexander von Hoffman
2. Fair Housing from the Inside Out: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Creation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule / Raphael W. Bostic, Katherine O’Regan, and Patrick Pontius, with Nicholas F. Kelly
3. The Promise Fulfilled? Taking Stock of Assessments of Fair Housing / Nicholas F. Kelly, Maia S. Woluchem, Reed Jordan, and Justin P. Steil

4. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Are There Reasons for Skepticism? / Howard Husock
5. The Fair Housing Challenge to Community Development / Edward G. Goetz

6. Gentrification, Displacement, and Fair Housing: Tensions and Opportunities / Vicki Been
7. Incorporating Data on Crime and Violence into the Assessment of Fair Housing / Michael C. Lens
8. Furthering Fair Housing: Lessons for the Road Ahead / Megan Haberle

Conclusion: From Suspension to Renewal: Regaining Momentum for Fair Housing / Justin P. Steil and Nicholas F. Kelly

About the Contributors

About the Author(s)

Justin P. Steil is an Associate Professor of Law and Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the coeditor of The Dream Revisited: Contemporary Debates about Housing, Segregation, and Opportunity and Searching for the Just City: Debates in Urban Theory and Practice.

Nicholas F. Kelly is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he works on affordable housing and public policy, with a particular focus on segregation and urban politics. Previously, he worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and for U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

Lawrence J. Vale is an Associate Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning and Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of After the Projects: Public Housing Redevelopment and the Governance of the Poorest Americans and several other prize-winning books about low-income housing.

Maia S. Woluchem is a graduate of the Masters in City Planning program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and currently serves as a Technology Fellow at the Ford Foundation, focused on the intersection of civic engagement, structural democracy, and emergent technology. She was previously a researcher at the Urban Institute.