(Summer 18) Elizabeth Haney, G, Cambridge Housing Authority, MA

Hi cyberwebs!

My name is Elizabeth (Liz) Haney and I’m a second year Master’s Student in DUSP (the Department of Urban Studies and Planning) in MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. This summer I’ll be interning at the Cambridge Housing Authority and will be supporting their work with the City of Cambridge’s Community Development in producing initial research and work towards an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Plan, a document required by the federal Department of Housing and Community Development. Different cities have approached their AFH plans differently, but these plans have the potential to guide actions that lessen racial segregation and increase opportunities for underserved communities.

It’s an interesting time to support Cambridge’s work on an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Plan. The last time the city had to submit a similar document to HUD was before the Obama Administration came out with an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule and the Supreme Court upheld the Fair Housing Act in the Inclusive Communities case. Several jurisdictions prepared and submitted AFH plans from 2016 to 2018 but the weight given to these plans has declined under President Trump’s administration. HUD, under the direction of Secretary Ben Carson,  pushed back the deadlines for municipalities to submit AFH plans, citing confusion among jursidictions’ submissions.

Despite the fact that the federal government no longer is placing as much emphasis on the AFH, Cambridge continues to make Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing a priority. I’m exciting to leverage what I’ve learned during my first year at DUSP in my work at CHA, from reaching out to community stakeholders to using GIS and R to illustrate how segregation and access to opportunity manifest in Cambridge.. through visuals that generate conversation and will serve as tools for this planning going foward.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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