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Julián Castro, top Latinx leaders unite for housing equity

In two separate appearances, the former HUD secretary pushed the importance of affordable, equitable housing for low-income communities across the country. 

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On the eve of Congressman John Lewis’ funeral, President Donald Trump tweeted in regards to shutting low-income families out of the suburbs, while using gentrification-centered “white grievance” politics to further spread the housing gap.

Trump’s latest target is the the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, part of the 1968 Fair Housing Act requiring cities that receive federal money for housing to examine discrimination in housing opportunities. Julián Castro finalized a new interpretation of the rule during the Obama administration further striving for a less segregated future.

Castro was interviewed on MSNBC the next morning to discuss Trump’s attacks on fair housing.

“While our nation lays Congressman Lewis to rest, Donald Trump is working to undermine everything he stood for,” Castro said.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a bigger white identity politician over the last 50 years than Donald Trump,” said the former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) . “This painting of Black and brown families is ruining your neighborhood.”
 

Later Thursday evening, Castro was joined by Regina Romero, Tucson’s Mayor, for a discussion surrounding housing in Black and Latino Communities. Specifically, in regards to presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden’s Racial Equity policy. 
 

Castro began by referencing all that John Lewis did for the disenfranchised during throughout-his decades-long position as a civil rights advocate.

“It’s fitting today to have a conversation about Black Latinx communities who have been hit hard during the coronavirus crisis,” Castro began, highlighting that affordable housing provides stability in one's life, and the most vulnerable communities have been feeling the housing crisis brought-on by COVID-19 the most.

Referencing Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, Castro mentioned the discriminatory housing practices still in-place today, saying he believes Biden “sees housing, not just as a privilege, but really as a right."

Of Biden’s housing policies, Castro says,“It integrates racial equity into housing policy. The size and the scale are so bold that millions of Americans who are struggling will be able to let out a sigh of relief if Joe is elected.”

He then welcomed Regina Romero, Mayor of Tucson, Arizona, and Levar Stoney, Mayor Richmond Virginia to speak.
 

Romero became the first woman and the first Latina elected mayor of Tucson. She is the only Latina mayor of a top 50 city (in terms of population) in the country.

She mentioned Tucson’s 45% Latino population, saying the coronavirus has magnified the inequities people have already been experiencing for years, including housing. Romero also acknowledged Trump has only worsened the situation not just with his tweets, but also his policies.

Romero mentioned two factors that have shaped her life. The first being how her low-income family was forced to move often, throughout the fields of Arizona, California and Colorado.

The other, is stable affordable housing.

“The stability that housing brings to families for their children, for them to stay in the same schools… and the parents not to worry abou where to sleep next,” Romero began.

“Affordable housing is a personal issue for me. And I know that we still struggle as a country to provide affordable, equitable housing opportunities for families in this country.”

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