The United States government accepted a number of obligations related to housing when it ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ("CERD"). For example, the United States government must ensure that all people enjoy the rights to housing and to own property, without distinction as to race; cease discriminatory actions, including those that are discriminatory in effect regardless of intent; and take affirmative steps to remedy past discrimination and eradicate segregation. This Article discusses the United States government's compliance with those obligations, as well as the importance of meaningful compliance in maintaining the United States' credibility on human rights issues. In the context of those obligations, this Article evaluates the current state of housing discrimination and segregation in the United States and the significant problems the United States government must address to fulfill its obligations under CERD. For example, some programs and policies of the United States government, both historically and today, have contributed to the creation and perpetuation of highly segregated residential patterns across the United States. In addition, private acts of discrimination frequently confront African Americans and Latinos attempting to rent or purchase a home, or attempting to secure funding or insurance for a home purchase. The United States government must improve its enforcement of the nation's fair housing laws to improve its compliance with CERD and ensure that all residents, regardless of race, enjoy a right to fair housing. This Article concludes by directing a series of recommendations to specific arms of the government, specifically the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, the United States Congress, the Internal Revenue Service, and state and local governments, to facilitate the United States government's compliance with CERD.
Michael B. de Leeuw, Megan K. Whyte, Dale Ho, Catherine Meza & Alexis Karteron,
The Current State of Residential Segregation and Housing Discrimination: The United States' Obligations Under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol13/iss2/1