The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (ICP), a Dallas fair housing organization, has requested the Secretary of Treasury to adopt rules to comply with its IRS’ and banking agency’s obligations to affirmatively further fair housing and to adhere to the Fair Housing Act in the siting of apartment complexes built through the department’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC). In its formal petition regarding the IRS program, ICP points out that failure by Secretaries to regulate the site selection of LIHTC projects has led to a racially segregated program in Dallas and nationwide. This has resulted in segregation which relegates Black and Latinx tenants to racially concentrated neighborhoods subject to drastically unequal neighborhood living conditions with no revitalization plans compared to White tenants in well-resourced White areas. Because of the many LIHTC projects owned by banks ICP’s second petition asks bank regulators, through the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), to control the site selection of national bank ownership of LIHTC projects. This would help halt the perpetuation of racial segregation as current program administration is not in the public welfare and does not coincide with the Community Reinvestment Act. Agency approval of LIHTC projects without meaningful action to address the racial concentration of low income housing in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, including the withholding of loans from homeowners in these communities violates the Fair Housing Act.
ICP’s two petitions follow President Biden’s January 26, 2021 memo in which he called for the need to redress our nation’s and the federal government’s history of discriminatory housing practices and policies. The nonprofit stated, “passing such rules would be immediate action the federal agency could take to help dismantle the racially segregated housing program”. ICP’s petitions also come on the heels of a recent blow to local fair housing supporters after a state representative opposed a LIHTC project, against the Dallas City Council’s will. The project would have allowed low income families with children and others to live in a conveniently located, well-resourced, low poverty area outside racially isolated neighborhoods where LIHTC projects abound. Included in the IRS petition is a request for regulation prohibiting administering states from going outside the tax code and adopting rules that permit municipalities and elected officials to veto development of LIHTC projects in their jurisdictions.
ICP is a not-for-profit organization that works throughout the Dallas Metroplex for the creation and maintenance of thriving racially and economically inclusive communities, expansion of fair and affordable housing opportunities for low income families, and redress for policies and practices that perpetuate the harmful effects of discrimination and segregation. For more information about ICP visit inclusivecommunities.net and follow @ICPDallas on Twitter. ICP is represented by the Daniel & Beshara Law Firm, P.C. in its petitions (danielbesharalawfirm.com). Petitions are available online:
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency: