Obstacles to Fair Housing Still Plague WNY’s Poor, Minorities and the Disabled

The right to fair housing in Western New York remains inconsistent, rife with barriers and impediments that include a shortage of services for those facing discrimination, an inadequate supply of suitable apartments and a lack of transportation, according to a University at Buffalo School of Social Work researcher studying local and national fair housing policy.

Among the most notable recommendations:

— To NIMBY or not to NIMBY. Community resistance — or what is commonly known as not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) — is still very pervasive in Erie County, according to Patterson’s study. “In some instances, residents heard about a proposed affordable housing development, attended a public meeting and voiced opposition to a project or rezoning issues,” the study states. “In other instances, landlords refused to rent to individuals based on race, familial status, disability or source of income.” Often, neighbors of proposed affordable housing based their objections on unfavorable stereotypes of people they thought lived in these housing developments, according to the report.

— The responsibility rests with leadership. “One of the central findings from this research is that achieving these goals is highly dependent on the commitment of local administrators, nonprofit agencies and elected officials,” according to the study. Leaders of this group must have resources and training to provide these services mandated by the law. They also must understand the connection between fair housing and how it is a human right and a means to social justice. “Without this commitment, fair housing will continue to face resistance from some and be given lip service by others,” according to Patterson.

Read remainder of the story at University of Buffalo News Center





About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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