Colorado Springs may be making some changes in allocation of federal housing subsidies that will assist the economic opportunities of poor residents. The following is a quotation from the Colorado Springs Independent.
Minorities have disproportionately high poverty rates,” the report noted. “In El Paso County, there were 75,363 persons living below the poverty line. Most of these people were living in Colorado Springs. Within Colorado Springs, most people living below the poverty line were concentrated in three contiguous areas. The largest area was in Southeastern Colorado Springs.
In other words, the Springs, to some degree, is economically segregated. And that leads to racial segregation.
The report notes that one government program likely isn’t helping. Known as Section 8, administered through the Colorado Springs Housing Authority, the popular program provides needy households with rent vouchers. But Section 8 bases its assistance on Fair Market Rent, a figure reached by complex calculations, based on rents in an entire metropolitan area
Scholar Richard Rothstein, has researched the historic roots of government policy designed to assist the economic circumstance of select groups in the American public.
Here is an excerpt about the federal practice from Rothstein:
Rothstein’s new book, The Color of Law, examines the local, state and federal housing policies that mandated segregation. He notes that the Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods — a policy known as “redlining.” At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites — with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans.
There are other means of leveling the playing field. There is a mill levy override issue planned for the 2017 ballot. It originates in Colorado Springs School District Eleven. The following is from an article in the Colorado Springs Independent:
D-11 Chief Financial Officer Glenn Gustafson says the district closed 14 schools in five years some years back, among the most aggressive closure schedules in the country. Now, D-11 wants to focus on updating its 1950s and 1960s buildings, which he describes as “tired” and in desperate need of work, notably new technology.
“Why is it that our lowest economic neighborhoods have the poorest schools in terms of conditions?” he says. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the bells and whistles as those schools to the north [in Academy District 20]?”
D-11, which serves 26,342 students, last passed a mill increase in 2000. Meanwhile, several funding measures have been adopted by voters in surrounding districts, notably Cheyenne Mountain District 12, Falcon District 49 and D-20, leading Gustafson to predict the latter two will overtake D-11 in size within a few years.
An example of what might be achieved with new money is Adams Elementary, at 2101 Manitoba Drive, which got a $7 million upgrade last year that added the latest technology, air conditioning, a new playground and exterior work.
The D-11 board is expected in June to adopt a statement of intent to refer the measure to voters…