Aiming to reinforce the administration’s commitment to the Fair Housing Act, President Obama dedicated his latest weekly address to the act and its impact on fighting discrimination in housing.
Specifically, Obama addressed last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of the “final rule” on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which will “equip communities that receive HUD funding with data and tools to help them meet long-standing fair housing obligations in their use of HUD funds.”
In his address, which can seen in full below, Obama said that the Fair Housing Act and the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule help to ensure that all Americans get an “equal shot” at finding success in life.
“The work of the Fair Housing Act remains unfinished,” Obama said.
“Just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled that policies segregating minorities in poor neighborhoods, even unintentionally, are against the law,” Obama continued. “The Court recognized what many people know to be true from their own lives: that too often, where people live determines what opportunities they have in life.”
Obama goes on to echo the sentiments of HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who said last week that “a ZIP code should not determine a child’s future.”
In Obama’s address, he calls out the inequality that exists in many cities.
“In some cities, kids living just blocks apart lead incredibly different lives,” Obama said.
“They go to different schools, play in different parks, shop in different stores, and walk down different streets,” the President continued. “And often, the quality of those schools and the safety of those parks and streets are far from equal – which means those kids aren’t getting an equal shot in life.”
Obama said that the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule will make it easier for communities to implement the Fair Housing Act.
“We’re using data on housing and neighborhood conditions to help cities identify the areas that need the most help,” Obama said. “We’re doing more to help communities meet their own goals.”
Obama also said that the administration plans to make the housing data available to the public as well, so that the public can use the data to push for improvements in their community.
“These actions won’t make every community perfect,” Obama said.
“That’s something we all have to strive for in our own lives,” Obama continued. “But they will help make our communities stronger and more vibrant. And they’ll help keep this a country where kids from every background can grow up knowing that no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you live, you can write your own story.”
Watch the President’s full address below.