Panel: Fair Housing Research 50 Years after the Fair Housing Act
(Housing, Community Development, and Urban Policy)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Tyler - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Margery Turner, Urban Institute
Discussants:  Vincent Reina, University of Pennsylvania and Arthur Acolin, University of Washington

Survival of the Fairest? an Analysis of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule Submissions
Justin Steil, Nicholas Kelly, Reed Jordan and Maia Woluchem, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gentrification and Fair Housing: Does Gentrification Hinder or Foster Integration?
Ingrid Gould Ellen and Gerard Torrats-Espinosa, New York University

Can Landlords be Paid to Stop Avoiding Voucher Tenants?
Hal Martin1, Dionissi Aliprantis1 and David C Phillips2, (1)Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, (2)University of Notre Dame

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, this panel presents four academic articles that discuss fair housing issues impacting American cities today. The first paper examines the extent to which municipalities create more robust fair housing under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule. The authors find that municipalities propose significantly more robust goals under the new rule than they did previously.  The second paper investigates the long-run dynamics of neighborhoods that undergo gentrification and their implications for fair housing. Using census tract data from years 1980 to 2016, they document the degree to which gentrification in one decade has led to stable economic and racial integration in subsequent decades, and in what contexts. The authors also consider implications for fair housing, and weigh a set of policy interventions that can help to make gentrifying neighborhoods more inclusive. The final two papers examine new forms of discrimination.  Specifically, the third paper presents findings from a field experiment to analyze whether discrimination based on race, family structure, and receipt of a housing voucher shapes outcomes in the online rental housing market in 30 large cities. Their findings show substantial discrimination against racial minorities, who receive fewer responses from landlord. They also find that racial disadvantage is compounded by signaling housing voucher receipt.  The fourth paper further examines discrimination against voucher holders, and explores whether its prevalence changes before and after the introduction of more generous rent ceilings in high-rent neighborhoods in Washington, DC. They find that inquiries that expressed a desire to pay with a voucher are 27 percentage points less likely to receive a response, and this penalty is 10 percentage points larger in a neighborhood at the 90th percentile of the rent distribution than at the 10th percentile. They find no evidence that these high levels of discrimination change after the adoption of the newer rent ceilings.