Urban Review: HUD lawsuit, Atlanta gentrification and Houston's flooded homes

May. 10, 2018

This week, housing advocates sue HUD, Atlanta credit unions take on gentrification, Houston investors target flooded homeowners and more.

Ben Carson

This week, housing advocates sue HUD, Atlanta credit unions take on gentrification, Houston investors target flooded homeowners and more.

Title Page

Housing Advocates Are Suing HUD Over Fair Housing. CityLab.


Are Charter Schools Private? In Texas Courts, It Depends Why You're Asking. Texas Tribune.

Questions about the legal status of charter schools — which receive taxpayer money but are privately run, usually by nonprofit corporations — are broad, existential ones in Texas, where disputes over school funding are among the Legislature’s most contentious. But those categories take on intense practical significance in the courtroom, where the rules that govern private- and public-sector employers vary widely. In two significant Texas Supreme Court cases over the last decade, charter schools and their lawyers have sidestepped lawsuits over employment and contract issues by playing both sides of that fence. In some cases, charter schools can’t be sued because they’re government entities; in others, they’re immune because they’re private.

Executive Summary

The Complete Communities draft plans are out. After months of meetings, the five pilot neighborhoods have produced detailed lists of goals and projects, as well as highlighted existing resources and ongoing efforts that will help support the areas' trajectory. The plans are worth digging into but a recent Urban Edge article highlighted some of the top priority projects and goals for each of the neighborhoods.

For most, affordable housing was a critical concern. Many of the neighborhoods are concerned about rising prices, displacement and the quality of available housing, particularly for senior citizens, while also wanting to encourage new construction.

"As new high-end housing units are built," notes the draft plan for Second Ward, "the gap between the number of affordable homes and the number of low- and moderate-income residents has widened."

Of interest are also the partners identified for each project, which range from area non-profits to the Houston Independent School District.

Read more about the draft plans and the Complete Communities pilot program here.


A concern for many neighborhoods, gentrification in Atlanta has led to a new response; "an all-hands-on-deck coalition of local nonprofits, community organizations, philanthropic groups, and not one, not two, not three, but four Atlanta-area credit unions working to prevent displacement of residents on Atlanta’s Westside," according to Aaron Ross Coleman, writing for NextCity.

"In the Westside neighborhoods of English Avenue, Vine City, Atlanta University Center and Ashview Heights, only eight percent of households own their own their homes - a direct legacy and continued symptom of redlining. Meanwhile, an estimated 18 percent of parcels in these neighborhoods are already investor-owned.

The On The Rise Financial Center has been around for a year now and trained 12 counselors who have counseled over 200 residents, according to Coleman. The ultimate goal is to increase homeownership among residents.

The Center is of interest for Complete Communities neighborhoods, as well, not only for the concerns it seeks to address but because several of the neighborhood draft plans included goals to open similar financial centers.




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