Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
Race and Ethnicity
by David Stanowski
30 November 2010
The first article in his series examined the likely placement of public housing based on levels of poverty. This installment will focus on race and ethnicity.
Where is a federal judge most likely to order placement of public housing in this city? No one can know for sure, but by reviewing the opinions of the fair-housing groups that would act as expert witnesses, and examining previous court rulings, along with the demographic data for each of the City's 22 census tracts; it becomes pretty clear what a judge would probably do.
The purpose of this article is to present the evidence, let you play the role of federal judge, and see what you think.
There are more than a dozen primary factors that will go into this decision, but this article will concentrate on two of the most critical: race and ethnicity.
In a previous article, West End Housing Projects, the GOGP examined how the ruling in the Westchester County case would look if applied to the City of Galveston. This was a ruling that made site selections based primarily on race and ethnicity. However, at that time, we did not have the data on the City's Hispanic population by census tract. This analysis will use the data for both the local Black and Hispanic populations as was done by the judge in Westchester.
The judge ordered the County to place 84% of its new public housing units in municipalities where the percentage of the Black population was less than 3% AND where the percentage of the Hispanic population was less than 7%, another 8% in municipalities where the percentage of the Black population was less than 7% AND where the percentage of the Hispanic population was less than 10%, and the final 8% in cities where the percentage of the Black population was less than 14% AND where the percentage of the Hispanic population was less than 16%.
The 2000 Census indicated that the City of Galveston had a population that was 25.5% Black and 25.8% Hispanic, so Galveston does not qualify for the placement of any public housing using the Westchester criteria!!
However, the State of Texas is telling the City that 569 additional units of public housing MUST be built in this city! The only way that this could be done, following the Westchester criteria, is to select those census tracts that qualify.
How many census tracts in the City of Galveston can be rated as having low enough populations of Blacks and Hispanics to be suitable for the placement of public housing?
84% of the public housing units would have to be built in census tract 7261.
An additional 8% of the public housing units would also have to be built in census tract 7261, because no census tracts meet the less than 7% Black AND less than 10% Hispanic criteria.
The final 8% of the public housing units would have to be built in census tracts 7257 and 7260.
7257 lies between 69th and 81st Streets. 7260 and 7261 lie west of 99th Street.
Maps of each census tract are available by clicking on the links in the table shown above.
Maps of the locations of each census tract within the City are shown below.
The only areas that have been specifically identified for building by GHA are the footprints of the old projects in census tracts 7240, 7243, and 7246. They are all areas of high concentrations of Blacks and Hispanics. Totally unacceptable locations!
Placement following the Westchester racial and ethnicity criteria would move public housing from District 1 to Districts 5 and 6 shifting local political alignments and forcing changes to the Poverty Industry.
You be the federal judge. Where is public housing most likely to be built? According to the criteria cited in the Westchester County case, or on the footprints of GHA's former housing projects?
The GOGP continues to assert that any additional public housing built in this county should be outside of the City of Galveston. This city already has more than it's fair share of public housing, and with 25.5% of its population Black, and 25.8% Hispanic; it is not a city that can accommodate public housing and also reduce the degree of segregation in the County.
However, if the City is forced to build additional public housing; the only census tracts that seem to be acceptable are in the western part of the City.
Part One: Location of Public Housing: Poverty
Part Three: Location of Public Housing: Communities of Opportunity