Editorial: Arlington violating the Fair Housing Act is more problematic than families with kid

“The American Dream City” has been Arlington's brand since 2014.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is charging the city of Arlington with violating the Fair Housing Act. It seems Arlington has refused applications for affordable housing for low-income families with children.

The case has not yet gone before a judge, and only preliminary judgment can be passed. However, available information indicates discrimination, and we condemn Arlington for limiting affordable housing to low-income households. Arlington calls itself the “American Dream City,” but it appears that dream does not include poor people.

In 2016, Arlington passed the Housing Tax Credit Review Policy, which was used to decide which low-income housing projects would receive resolutions of support. Among the criteria was a stated preference for senior housing.

At the time of the policy’s adoption, city officials allegedly stated they preferred senior housing over workforce housing because “residents with children can be problematic.” The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination that makes housing unavailable to families with children.

Families with children have a laundry list of financial burdens. Purposely limiting housing for these families is illegal and the worst kind of immoral, creating additional monetary burdens for families in our community.

America was in part founded on the idea of working for a better life for oneself and one’s family. It’s saddening to see our city deny poor families access to this opportunity.

City officials allegedly called low-income families problematic. We call them friends and neighbors. This is the American Dream City, and we think that dream belongs to everyone, regardless of income.

Much remains unknown before the charge is brought before a judge. In the meantime, we call on Arlington to commit to housing projects that promise opportunity for every American.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of opinion editor Spencer Brewer; Editor-in-Chief Shay Cohen; news editor Angelica Perez; Cecilia Lenzen, life and entertainment editor; sports editor Chris Amaya; David Silva Ramirez, life and entertainment reporter; and copy editor Andrew Walter. Walter and Perez were not present for this editorial decision, and news reporter Daisy Garcia and multimedia editor Elias Valverde II filled in.


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