CHICAGO — President Barack Obama's chief of urban housing policy announced new nationwide rules Wednesday that are aimed at fulfilling the 1968 Fair Housing Act by promoting racially integrated neighborhoods.
"The truth is for too long federal efforts have often fallen short," Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said at a news conference next to new public housing apartments and a playground on Chicago's South Side.
The 1968 law required cities that receive federal housing money to promote equal opportunity and access to housing regardless of race, origin, religion, sex or disability.
Under the new rules, the federal government will provide guidance to help cities achieve that mandate, as well as data on integration and segregation patterns, racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty and areas of high housing need.
"Where a child grows up shouldn't dictate where they end up," Castro said.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it's no surprise his city was chosen to make the announcement.
"We have a long history as it relates to fair housing," Emanuel said while standing at the site that once housed Stateway Garden's eight high-rise public housing buildings, which along with Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes were once some of the country's most striking symbols of urban blight. "I think this is the perfect place not just because of the history of Chicago but because of the future we are building today."
The department says the rules will be implemented in phases.