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US Treasury Department

Treasury Department still not enforcing anti-discrimination rules for federally financed programs demanded by 1963 March On Washington, passed through Civil Rights Act

50 years later, key regulations requiring anti-discrimination measures in Housing and Finance not yet adopted by Treasury

The following is a statement from Alan Jenkins, Executive Director of the Opportunity Agenda.

     “Tomorrow, Washington, D.C. will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington. The march united some 250,000 people of all backgrounds in a call for justice and equal opportunity for all. While our nation has made major progress toward that goal, there is still a great distance to be travelled.”

    “Among the great achievements of the ’63 March was the passage, less than a year later, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial discrimination in public accommodations, in public education, and in federally funded programs and projects. The ’64 Act was the first federal civil rights law with teeth after a decade of delay, filibusters, and intentionally impotent legislation. Since that time, nearly every federal department and agency has adopted regulations to implement Title VI of the Act, which outlaws discrimination in federally funded pro-grams. Those regulations, and their enforcement, have helped to bring equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination to thousands of health, transportation, educational, environmental, and other programs and institutions throughout the nation. They have expanded opportunity for millions of Americans and strengthened our nation tremendously.”

    “But 50 years after Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, the US Treasury Department has still not adopted regulations implementing that provision of the Civil Rights Act and the nation is poorer for that omission. The most pressing example is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which incentivizes private construction of homes that working class Americans can afford to rent. Title VI rules for the LIHTC program would guarantee that exclusionary local policies and customs like local ‘residency preferences’ or cronyism do not exclude families of color from homes they can afford, or the pathway to opportunity that a safe and af-fordable home provides.”

    “The Treasury Department stands virtually alone among federal agencies in its failure to adopt these basic protections.”

    “Adoption of Title VI regulations for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program is a step that is long overdue. These basic civil rights protections are legally required, and they will bring tangible benefits to millions of low-in-come families and children. By connecting more Americans to opportunity, they will also seed our nation’s long-term prosperity.”

    “The ’64 Civil Rights Act is the most tangible and systemic outcome of the March On Washington.  Fifty years after the March, its full promise should be realized.”

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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