Opening Statement by Demetria McCain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, at the U.S. Presentation to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination concerning the U.S. Report on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD Report)
As Submitted for the Record
Madame Chair, distinguished members of the Committee, and to all who are listening, I am Demetria McCain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. I am joined by my colleague Erik Steinecker who also serves in our fair housing office.
As my colleagues have stated, this Administration has taken a whole of government approach to center equity in everything we do. Our focus on equity is particularly important to address our country’s history of systematically implementing racially discriminatory housing policies that contributed to segregated neighborhoods and inhibited equal opportunity, and the chance to build wealth for people of color and other underserved communities.
Ongoing legacies of residential segregation and discrimination remain ever-present in our society as do systemic barriers to safe, accessible, and affordable housing for people of color. The wealth gap and homeownership gap between white and black families are greater today than they were in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was adopted. A disproportionate number of people of color are experiencing housing insecurity, and rental costs have increased tremendously to the point where they are out of reach for far too many people.
It is our priority to see that these gaps are narrowed. We are doing this by working with communities to:
End housing discrimination and provide relief to victims,
Eliminate racial bias and other forms of discrimination in all stages of home-buying and renting,
To lift barriers that restrict housing and neighborhood choice,
To promote diverse and inclusive communities, and
And to secure equal access to safe, affordable, and accessible housing opportunity for all.
I am joined here by my colleague Erik Steinecker and I will not turn it over to my colleague Lenita Jacobs-Simmons.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you at this convening.