The McGeorge Alternative Summer Advantage Program (“McGeorge ASAP”) is a self-directed volunteer summer legal research project created by alum Lexi Purich Howard and Asst. Dean of Career Development Molly Stafford in response to COVID-19. The program matched McGeorge students who lost summer opportunities due to the pandemic with local attorneys for guidance on a research project on the topic of the student’s choosing. This week’s ASAP paper was authored by Matt Urban (2L, 2022) under the mentorship of Sosan Madanat (’14), Director at Lighthouse Public Affairs.
“In the mid-twentieth century, public and private institutions excluded minority populations from homeownership and residence through discriminatory mortgage-lending practices. Using a color-coded scheme to assess risk, federal housing programs refused to insure loans of Black urban applicants that were available to White suburban applicants. This government-endorsed discrimination—known as “redlining”—perpetuated racial segregation through homeownership, an important means of wealth accumulation in the United States. COVID-19’s disparate impact on communities of color further exposes the systemic inequities perpetuated by redlining and other prejudicial policies. Although the Supreme Court ruled redlining unconstitutional shortly after Congress banned housing discrimination as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the practice continues to shape the options for neighborhood residents over a half-century later.
In 2015, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a rule requiring municipalities receiving grants from the federal agency to take proactive steps to “affirmatively further fair housing.” Under the administration of President Donald Trump, the rule was suspended in January 2018 and ultimately rescinded in July 2020. However, California passed AB 686 in 2018, which calls on cities and counties to report housing inequities within their communities beginning in 2021. California’s fair housing law preserves a platform for municipalities to address their communities’ systemic disparities highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis, including access to healthcare, employment, and technology…”