Also: The real cost of luring big companies, and mapping the global reach of tobacco.
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What We’re Following
Hold up: Secretary Ben Carson’s efforts to change the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s mission statement wasn’t just a matter of words. Current and former HUD officials tell The New York Times that the Trump administration is attempting to scale back federal efforts to enforce fair housing laws. Internal agency emails show the department put a freeze on about a half-dozen “secretary-initiated” fair housing investigations last November. In the past, the agency has used high-profile cases to set precedent and put other localities and businesses on notice.
- CityLab context: One of the frozen investigations is a housing discrimination case against Facebook.
More on CityLab
Video of the Day
Our friends at Curbed have a new video series: Tiny Towns, USA. They visit four cities—Detroit, Portland, Las Vegas, and Reno—to investigate how tiny houses are evolving from a “quirky lifestyle fetish” into a solution to the housing challenges that cities face today. Related: In Baltimore, a tiny-home program puts a twist on addressing the housing crisis.
What We’re Reading
Hurricane Harvey woke Houston up. Now things have to change. (Quartz)
The real retail killer: private equity (The New Republic)
Private companies want to replace public transport. Should we let them? (The Guardian)
Trump promised $1.5 trillion in infrastructure. He’s 1 percent of the way there. (Washington Post)