Here is where we post comments, letters to the editor, and such from our membership.

The following email was sent from MICAH board member, Gary Kwong, to Senators Klobuchar and Franken and Representative McCollum. 

Sent: Fri, Dec 4, 2015
Subject: Housing 

I'm of Chinese descent. My mother died this past year and upon looking at the deed for our family home since 1951, my brother and I saw that "no family of color can lease or own this property". My father who was a US citizen and PhD in Chemical Engineering (UMN Mpls, 1942) after working for Shell Oil Research in Emeryville CA and now taking a position at 3M had to negotiate to be allowed to buy the home. Housing covenants of that type are illegal now but housing segregation (which can lead to school de-facto segregation) due to community practices is still quite strong.

As you know, studies have shown that the Twin Cities area is one of the most housing segregated in the USA, if not the most segregated. This, in part, has led to our having the widest educational achievement gap in the USA. This is not something that we are proud of.

As a constituent who cares deeply about fair housing and expanding opportunity, I urge you to support the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule, and ask that you contact Congressional Leadership to let them know that current attempts to block the new AFFH regulation should not be included as part of the final FY16 appropriations process.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finalized the AFFH rule after a multi-year rulemaking process. The rule furthers the goals of the Fair Housing Act by providing all HUD program participants with clear guidelines, local data, and a new assessment tool to enhance grantees’ ability to fulfill existing Fair Housing obligations. AFFH will empower communities to shape their own, more cost-effective strategies to affirmatively further fair housing - including future investments in housing, transportation, infrastructure, and economic development.

As Congress works to finalize the FY16 Appropriations process, I strongly urge you to protect this long-awaited opportunity for cities, counties, states, and millions of families across the nation. 

Gary Kwong

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