| June 5, 2020

Housing Equity Cannot Exist Without Racial Equity

Written by Up for Growth

Reading time: 3 minutes

Up for Growth grieves with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We say their names because each deserves to be grieved individually and specifically. We bear witness to the collective pain of the black community that comes from knowing that there are more names on this list than can be said or even known.

Systemic racism and the systematic oppression of black Americans are woven into every structure and system in our country. The injury this has caused over our history is incalculable, and the enormity of the cost must be confronted. For too long the burden of trying to unwind this history has fallen on the community trying to overcome it. We cannot create a just system if everyone in the system does not actively participate in its creation.

Discriminatory housing policies like redlining, exclusionary zoning, and intentional and severe infrastructure neglect in black neighborhoods have been systematically employed at every level of government for decades. The results of this discrimination are clear: zip codes correctly predict access to quality education, health outcomes, and employment. We have confined communities of color to low-opportunity areas, stifling economic and social mobility. It must stop.

At Up for Growth, we commit to expanding policy work that explicitly confronts the nation’s long-standing discriminatory housing policies. We will be intentional in our efforts to illuminate and quantify the impact of racial injustice on housing and community development. As we craft policy analysis and recommendations, we will explicitly consider racial justice and equity in our work to dismantle artificial barriers.

We will amplify the ideas and voices of our members whose work advances equity, we will examine and correct inequities in our own practices, and we will create space to listen, without judgment, to the lived experience of our black and brown members, staff, and advisors. We will use our voice to affect change.

Housing equity cannot exist without racial equity. Black Lives Matter.

Mike Kingsella
Leah MacArthur
Erica Bateman
Melissa Winkler
Gabriela Sazon
Lauren Sharrock
Amanda Young