Neighborhood Equity

Neighborhood Equity & Options Program

The neighborhoods in which [African-Americans] receive [housing] assistance are usually subject to various adverse conditions not found in the neighborhoods surrounding the housing units in which whites receive the same assistance. These conditions include inferior city-provided facilities and services, little or no new or newer residential housing, large numbers of seriously substandard structures, noxious environmental conditions, substandard or completely absent neighborhood service facilities, high crime rates, inadequate access to job centers, and little or no investment of new capital in the area by public and private entities.

— “Separate and Unequal: the Root and Branch of Public Housing Segregation” (1989)
Elizabeth K. Julian & Mike Daniel in Clearinghouse Review

HOLC redline map of Dallas 1937

HOLC redline map of Dallas 1937

The above statement captures the facts as they were on the ground years ago in Dallas. While improvement efforts have been employed, the condition that has received the most attention from public and private leaders has been the quality of residential housing—leaving the other conditions free to inflict harm on captured residents. Despite an influx of new housing, in 2017, we find millennial parents of color and their children subjected to nearly the same level of toxic conditions in the same neighborhoods that Jim Crow built.

Consistent with ICP’s mission to seek redress for policies and practices that perpetuate the harmful effects of discrimination and segregation, ICP’s Neighborhood Equity and Options (NEO) program addresses the vestiges of racial segregation in neighborhoods without adequate services and facilities. ICP’s activities under its NEO program engage a twofold approach. Efforts in targeted neighborhoods include: (1) outreach and advocacy that seek government action to address issues such as environmental hazards, blight, and public safety and (2) housing mobility services that educate and give voucher households the option to move to less racially concentrated neighborhoods that are not marked by unequal conditions. ICP employs these fair housing approaches in anticipation of a time when all children can live in communities that most help them thrive.