The Obama administration on Monday signed a major desegregation agreement with one of America's richest counties for the construction of new affordable housing.
"This is consistent with the president's desire to see a fully integrated society," said Ron Sims, the deputy secretary of housing and urban development.
Bringing low and mid-income folks to the fanciest towns is one way to move towards this goal. But we can't reach a "fully integrated society" without also integrating neighborhoods like Allston that are currently at the lower-income end of the spectrum.
One way to do this is to have new developments like the new Charlesview do better than build a low-rise housing project for several hundred tenants to live in economic segregation. A real mixed-income community, with more than a token handful of market-rate apartments, would be an appropriate way for Harvard to honor the goal of its graduate in the Oval Office and for Charlesview to become a leader in 21st century housing instead of clinging so desperately to the old and discredited idea of segregation.