Delaware Public Media

Delaware's fair housing work in first phase, Obama-era plan due in 2019

Aug 9, 2017

Delaware housing experts are working on a five-year plan to comply with an Obama-era fair housing rule.


The rule requires states to examine how zoning impacts racial segregation, and how to it plans to increase access to fair housing opportunities.

 

Last year, geographical mapping tools were made available online to help jurisdictions in their housing analysis.

“So one can go online and look at maps, they can look at patterns in segregation, they can look at where areas are racially or ethnically concentrated and they can see where public supported housing is made available or not," said Melody Taylor, HUD’s Regional Director for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

While Delaware is still in the initial phases of its research, the process is designed to engage the public.

“We look to local jurisdictions to say: hey, HUD. Here’s some additional information based on our local data, local knowledge that should be considered in our planning processes, etc,” Taylor said.

Delaware has until 2019 to submit its initial five-year planning report about how it plans to increase access to fair housing.

First State housing experts are currently working with those from Philadelphia. Philly was one of 22 jurisdictions ordered to comply within the first year of the rule, and has already submitted its planning document.

 

Taylor says Delaware is hoping to learn best practices from Philly, like utilization of social media to engage the public.

 

“The city used Facebook, and there was an app that was created that – for neighborhood associations – so when the plan was in its draft form, on their phone they could see the draft plan and be able to look at it and be able to provide comments for it," Taylor said.

According to a local HUD spokesperson, Delaware hasn’t begun engaging local communities yet.