The ‘Build a Fair Florida’ campaign has been unfolding over the past year as an effort to ensure that in response to the State and national economic crisis, Florida recognizes the need to build a more equitable and sustainable democratic structure, and that the investments of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) be used to rebuild the communities that have been impacted the most by the recession and decades of marginalization. The campaign began with a call for the implementation of ARRA to be an equitable, transparent, and accountable process. This call was followed by work that showed how the opportunity landscape in Florida was uneven before the recession, and why ARRA investments should be targeted towards making quality‐of‐life opportunities accessible to all communities. Most recently, a study of ARRA jobs and contract procurement revealed that in the absence of systemic reform, recovery investments and employment opportunities have continued to flow in ways that leave communities of color neglected.
One of the most significant aspects of the recent recession is the impact of the subprime and foreclosure crisis on local housing markets across the country. Many of the hardest hit areas in the country are in Florida, which has had the second highest foreclosure rate in the country.1 The cost of this crisis has been immense, resulting in millions of dollars worth of wealth stripped from Black and Latino communities, as well as an overheated rental market which makes it even more challenging for families to find good, affordable housing. Because subprime lending and foreclosure have played such a devastating role during this recession, and because they have disproportionately impacted Florida’s communities of color, this phase of the campaign’s research focuses particularly on a Federal program that was designed to counteract these effects‐ the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).