In a heated battle between Baltimore County and a group led by NAACP, a judge ordered Baltimore to start integrating Section 8 housing in more affluent neighborhoods. The plaintiffs argued Baltimore was committing 'housing segregation' through maintaining specified sections of affordable housing and not integrating lower-income populations with more affluent populations.

The County agreed to pay $30 million over the next 10 years to build affordable housing in wealthier suburbs in efforts to dilute the concentration of poverty in the city. Since low income Americans are disproportionately African American and Hispanic, segregating low income housing is still seen as an act of racial segregation.

The argument from the NAACP and its allies, though, is that typical Section 8 subsidized housing programs bunch poor people together, and that this only fuels more crime and other problems.

Under the new plan, residents from low-income neighborhoods would be placed all around Baltimore County, essentially integrating the poor among wealthier families.

“Studies indicate doing cluster in one area is not successful,” said Tony Fugett, president of the Baltimore County NAACP. “The hope is that the units would be dispersed throughout the county.”

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