In April 2018, a new report Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide was released at a sold out conference held in partnership with the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC). The event marked the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and featured as keynote speaker Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How the Government Segregated America.
Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide
Funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health and Wells Fargo, the 115-page report was written in partnership by these St. Louis organizations: ArchCity Defenders, Ascend STL, EHOC, Empower Missouri, For the Sake of All (now Health Equity Works), Invest STL, and Team TIF. It presents 11 policy recommendations to support fair, affordable, and inclusive housing in St. Louis.
The report, which has received extensive local and national coverage, was developed in response to work group discussions on segregated housing in St. Louis and the need to coordinate advocacy efforts between various fair housing, legal services, advocacy, and community development organizations.
Since publication, work has advanced on several policy recommendations. In June 2018, the St. Louis County Executive announced the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund Task Force with an executive order citing the report and its community partners. The report’s analysis and recommendations have also taken up residents interested in attaching Community Benefits Agreements to new development proposals in the region.
A coalition of non-profits and banks have started the process of forming a Greenlining Fund to enable lending for home purchases and repairs in distressed neighborhoods. Several partners including Simmons Bank and The City of St. Louis have made financial contributions to the fund. The program is expected to launch in 2020.