Also: Mapping the unequal burden of Hurricane Florence, and the trouble with TIF.

What We’re Following

All ears: Before self-proclaiming as a YIMBY on Twitter this week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced to a gathering of public housing authority directors that he will launch a “landlord engagement listening tour” later this month. The goal is to figure out why landlords don’t accept housing vouchers from low-income tenants, which makes it more difficult to desegregate neighborhoods. But Carson should already have a pretty good idea of the answer: a great deal of research—a lot of it from his own department—finds the answer loud and clear: It’s discrimination.

Just this week, a new study from a group of economists found that African Americans pay more in rent for identical housing in identical neighborhoods, and that gap increases the whiter a neighborhood becomes. HUD has also released three major studies this year on the various ways that black and Latino tenants face discrimination in the rental market. Today on CityLab, Brentin Mock asks: Why Won’t Ben Carson Confront Discrimination?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Mapping the Unequal Burden of Hurricane Florence

The path of the powerful storm is only one way to understand the scope of its likely burden.

Nicole Javorsky

What Will It Take to Make Buildings Carbon Neutral?

Last month, 19 cities signed a declaration to make all new buildings carbon neutral by 2030. So what happens next?

Linda Poon

The Trouble With TIF

Cities love to use Tax Increment Financing to boost development. Should they?

Tanvi Misra

Want Greener Streets? Make Room for Bikes and Trees

Put them together and you can have spaces that are safer and more pleasant for everyone.

Anne Lusk

The Barbers of Mexico City

Five local hairstylists speak to CityLab about the state of their city’s coiffing preferences.

Feike de Jong and Gustavo Graf


Mailbag: Hurricane Edition

A map shows Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean.
(earth.nullschool.net)

After yesterday’s newsletter about Hurricane Florence’s potential impacts, CityLab reader Allen Hopson wrote in to recommend some important context to consider when following this news:

First is On The Media’s “Breaking News Consumer Handbook: Storm Edition,” which outlines some practical tips and key reminders as the news unfolds. One we know well: “The storm’s real lessons emerge on the local level after national media move on.”

He also suggests revisiting this great Vox Strikethrough episode, from last year’s hurricane coverage, on why treating natural disasters like war zones hurts survivors.

Finally, this NPR Code Switch episode from last year that touches on how the consequences of “natural disasters” are shaped by man-made policies, with housing and climate policy often bringing about disproportionate harm to underserved communities and people of color.

Thanks for writing in, Allen! And everyone, feel free to send us your thoughts on anything we’re covering at hello@citylab.com.


What We’re Reading

Driverless hype collides with merciless reality (Wall Street Journal)

Maryland’s biggest county responds to full schools by halting new housing (Slate)

Uber has a new brand—again (Fast Company)

North Carolina, warned of rising seas, chose to favor development (New York Times)


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