On the campaign trail, Joe Biden pledged to do what he could to dismantle systemic racism, and as president, he’s taken some steps toward that goal. In his first week in office, President Biden signed four executive actions that his administration said were aimed at increasing racial equity.
Among them was one action aimed at strengthening anti-discrimination housing policies — policies that had been weakened under President Donald Trump.
And Biden says that’s merely the beginning of his efforts to fight discrimination in housing. The president has directed his administration to end racist practices and create more equal opportunities when it comes to where Americans live.
As of early 2020, only 44 percent of Black families owned homes compared with about 74 percent of White families.
Evidence shows the chance to own a home and have safe, reliable housing could lay the groundwork for generational success — where a person lives is closely tied to educational, employment, health and wealth opportunities.
Despite Biden’s efforts to tackle issues related to housing, some critics say he’s not going far enough to correct inequities.
But how far do the president’s powers reach when it comes to the state of housing in American cities? Housing policy isn’t entirely controlled by the federal government. Decisions over land use, such as what types of housing can be built and where, are largely made by state and local governments. Some of those policies have discriminatory histories and are enforced in a way that adversely impacts lower-income Americans and residents of color.
So can Biden really put an end to decades’ worth of discriminatory housing practices? And what role does the federal government and the Department of Housing and Urban Development play in creating more fair and affordable housing in American cities?
Post race and economics reporter Tracy Jan, and Tim Keane, the director of planning and community development for the city of Atlanta, examine the limits of Biden’s power, in this second episode in our occasional series for the“Can He Do That?” podcast about the policy challenges that the president faces during his first year in office.
Are the divisions within the Republican party causing real problems for Biden’s goals? And if he’s forced to move his agenda forward with only the help of his own party, how might Democratic factions and party discord make that more difficult?
Thursday, May 13, 2021
What are the geopolitical implications of the intelligence community "redoubling its efforts" to identify the pandemic's origins? And what are the political challenges for President Biden in acknowledging a theory once touted by the Trump administration?
Thursday, June 3, 2021