discrimination. In 1977 values for this index were 0.35 for black tenants and
0.39 for white tenants nationally, and higher in some regions--0.45 for both
black and white tenants in the South, for example.
Data from the 1977 survey of PHAs indicate a concentration of racial minorities in family housing projects and of whites in elderly projects. That year, more
than 51 percent of all family housing projects had their units occupied predominantly or exclusively by black tenants, and nearly 50 percent of all elderly housing projects had their units occupied predominantly or exclusively by white tenants.
Extreme cases include Montgomery, Alabama, where family housing projects
were occupied exclusively by black tenants and elderly projects exclusively
by white tenants, and Livonia, Michigan, where elderly housing units (the
only subsidized housing available in the PHA) were occupied exclusively by
whites despite the presence of a substantial eligible black population.
The distinction between the elderly and family housing programs first began in 1956 with the introduction of elderly housing. Although the white
population eligible for family housing is numerous and does not appear to be
economically better off than the eligible black population, fewer and fewer
nonelderly whites are choosing to live in subsidized housing. The long-term
implication of this is that racial segregation in federally subsidized housing
will likely be an enduring social problem.
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 3, 1959-1963 Compilation ( Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964). Section 801 of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 directs HUD and local housing authorities to "administer the programs and activities relating to housing and urban development in a manner affirmatively to further" antidiscrimination and "fair housing." However, this statute provides practically
no enforcement power. According to Congress, "any person who claim to have been
injured by a discriminatory housing practice or who believes that he will be irrevocably injured by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur . . . may file a
complaint with the Secretary. Complaints shall be in writing and shall contain such
information and be in such form as the Secretary requires. Upon receipt of such a
complaint the Secretary shall furnish a copy of the same to the person or persons who
allegedly committed or are about to commit the alleged discriminatory housing practice" Public Law 90-284 ( April 11, 1968) United States Statute at Large 82 ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969): 85-86.
Data from the 1977 survey of PHAs are cataloged in a file called CDBOUT in
the HUD's T18 System. Data from the MTCS system were obtained, with the assistance of John Goering, from the Office of Public and Indian Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The 1977 occupancy data, however, are problematic in many respects. Some
variables related to racial occupancy and center-city status are either inadequately
coded or lack sufficient documentation. For 846 housing projects the total number of
units coded as leased to tenants and employees is actually smaller than the sum of
units coded as leased to all racial groups of tenants. In one housing project, for ex-