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Poll Surveys Voters on Government’s Role in Neighborhood Diversity

rowofhomesDiversification is a heavy issue within American neighborhoods, one that many potential voters do not want the government’s help with. Those that make similar salaries tend to flock to one neighborhood, while those that make different salaries are left out of the neighborhood loop, and this appears to be the way many Americans want it to stay.

A recent poll from Rasmussen Reports titled "Voters Say No to Government Role in Neighborhood Diversity" found that the majority of American voters’ believe that the government should not get involved in tying different income levels together in an effort to diversify neighborhood across the U.S.

The poll questioned 1,000 people who are likely to vote and determined that 83 percent of respondents say it is not the government’s job to diversify neighborhoods in America so that people of different income levels live together, but 8 percent say that it is a role for the government and 9 percent are not sure. An additional 86 percent say that government should not play a role in deciding where people can live, while a small 8 percent says that the government should.

With all of this in mind, Rasmussen said that the potential voters are displaying a bit more support for the government than they did two years ago. In 2013, 93 percent of American adults believed the federal government should not play a role in deciding where people can live and 4 percent said that it should.

Racial factors also play an equal part in this debate, with 59 percent of respondents revealing that the racial or ethnic makeup of the neighborhood was not important when choosing where to live, Rasmussen reported. On the other hand, 27 percent said it was “not at all” important, while 37 percent indicated that the makeup of the neighborhood is at least “somewhat important,” and 11 percent said that the racial or ethnic makeup is “very important.”

On Wednesday, Sarah Burd-Sharp of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and Rebecca Rasch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released research that identified the growing disparities among blacks and how these issues should be addressed.

The research found that all households lost wealth from 2007 to 2009 at the height of the housing bust and recession. However, in 2009, median white household wealth ceased to decrease, while median black household wealth dropped steadily. Black households lost an additional 13 percent of their wealth between 2009 and 2011.

"Not only were black homeowners devastated by the housing market collapse, they are now being left behind,” said Rachel Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU's Racial Justice Program. “This study makes clear that the devastating impact of the financial crisis on black families' wealth will continue until policymakers address this pressing issue.”

On Tuesday, the Five Star Institute announced the launch of the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC), a member organization comprised of industry leaders and advocates focused on shaping the diversity agenda for the mortgage industry.

The AMDC's goal is to drive results that support the application and promotion of the mortgage industry's best diversity practices, and advancing solutions that support initiatives outlined by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act–which focuses on minority and inclusion rules that call for greater supply chain diversity and greater diversity in hiring and promoting in the workforce.

“This is an industry-wide commitment that will have important and sustainable benefits for our members and mortgage professionals at large,” said Ed Delgado, president and CEO of the Five Star Institute. “Mike’s expertise and industry perspectives are invaluable and necessary as the incoming chairman, we are honored that he has accepted this position.”

Click here to view the Rasmussen Reports' complete poll.

About Author: Xhevrije West

Xhevrije West is a writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University.
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