One America Community Efforts
Little Bar

Program: Pro-integrative Consultation, Philadelphia, PA
Contact(s): Don DeMarco, Executive Director, Fund for an OPEN Society: (215) 735-6915
Purpose: To sustain racially integrated and balanced living patterns by providing guidance to local communities at risk of resegregation

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Civil rights legend James Farmer and pro-integration housing developer Morris Milgram established the Fund for an OPEN Society (OPEN) in 1975 as a charitable nonprofit corporation with the purpose of promoting racial integration in housing. Initially they offered mortgage loans to people who bought homes in neighborhoods where minorities were underrepresented. By early 1996, OPEN redesigned their programs to provide technical assistance to communities that were interested in integrated housing. OPEN decided to established the Pro-integrative Consultation (PIC) service to provide subsidized technical assistance to local governments and nonprofits concerned about the diversity of their communities.

Program Operations

OPEN's PIC provides guidance in strategic planning and program development for clients interested in securing stable racial diversity in their neighborhoods. PIC services are provided on site and electronically under the guidance of staff with more than three decades experience with pro-integrative program development in an assortment of communities, both urban and suburban. PIC provides individualized guidance in dealing with the challenges and obstacles that clients must grapple with as they seek to outreach to underrepresented groups. They organize communities on issues surrounding fair housing opportunities by informing their clients of the many opportunities to become first-time home buyers while encouraging integrated housing.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

One of the PIC's indicators of successful outcomes has been the increase in home purchasing power by minority groups as well as the stabilization and appreciation of minority-owned property values. Since 1996, PIC has worked in several suburban communities and city neighborhoods, bringing minorities and non-minorities together. Two communities in New Jersey, Maplewood and South Orange, have been particularly successful at integrated communities.

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