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Fair Housing in Arlington? - Source Connection news papers

Posted on Jun 27,2018
Filed Under Local Politics , Politics,
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Photo by Vernon Miles
Alliance for Housing Solutions Executive Director Michelle Winters.

Source Connection news papers

By Vernon Miles

ARLINGTON - It’s been 50 years since the Fair Housing Act. Open discrimination is no longer commonplace in Arlington’s housing. And yet, in many ways Arlington is as segregated as ever, with continually rising housing prices pushing market rate affordable housing out of the county.

At the Alliance for Housing Solutions’ (AHS) 2018 Leckey Forum, hosted in the Clarendon Ballroom on June 18, leaders from across the county and state came together for an all-day session to look at how far Arlington has come since open racial discrimination in housing and how far is still left to go.

Michelle Winters, executive director of AHS, said the history of housing discrimination in Arlington goes back to the county’s growth during the Civil War. Freedman’s Village near what is today Arlington National Cemetery was one of a dozen rural settlements built up across Arlington County by African Americans. Many of them were escaped or recently freed slaves from the south who settled in Northern Virginia. However, as the county continued to grow, these African American enclaves began to be forcibly pushed out. In the 1940s, deed covenants were put into place that restricted home ownership in many Arlington neighborhoods to Caucasians only. Bellevue Forest showed records that once declared that no blacks or anyone of semitic origin was allowed to live in the neighborhood. In the 1930s, Hall’s Hill Wall was built to separate the African American community from its white neighbors. By the mid 1950s, Winters said only three predominantly black communities remained in Arlington.

Source Connection news papers



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