Affordable housing is a controversial subject in Wilton, but it doesn’t have to be. The need has grown even more apparent in recent months as national focus has turned to the evil of past government-directed housing segregation (“de jure segregation” in legal-speak). That de jure segregation has been implemented over much of the past century, and its destructive consequences persist to this day.
These government policies can be traced back on a national scale to the encouragement of adoption of racially restrictive local zoning laws by the Harding Administration beginning in 1921, to FDR’s racially restricted government-constructed housing in the 1930s and then his administration’s government-built racially restrictive housing for wartime production workers. It continued postwar in Democratic and Republican administrations as FHA-and-VA-financed housing imposed redlining and other explicitly racially restrictive requirements upon the Levitts and others building on a massive scale during the post-war housing boom. If those developers wanted government-backed financing for their projects (and their housing couldn’t have been built without it), the housing had to be racially restricted.