Fair Housing Choice in the City of St. Louis
In late 2014 and early 2015, Rise contributed to the revision of the City of St. Louis' Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, collecting and interpreting a range of data on demographics, housing needs, and Racially/Ethnically Concentrated Areas of Poverty, and drafting concrete action steps to alleviate impediments to fair housing. Two of these concrete action steps included eliminating discrepancies in the housing inspection requirements for tenants using standard payment methods versus tenants using Housing Choice Vouchers and clarifying the City’s regulations regarding source-of-income discrimination by landlords.
In a process that proceeded in parallel to the revision of the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, in February 2015 the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed two measures - Board Bill 235 and Board Bill 260 - addressing the same issues identified in these action steps. The bills were sponsored by Alderman Christine Ingrassia and recommended by Dr. Molly Metzger, an assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and a board member at the Metro St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council who has published research on Section 8 housing in the St. Louis Region. Rise also consulted Dr. Metzger in the drafting of the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice.
These two parallel processes reinforced each other with the aim of advancing fair housing choice in the City of St. Louis.