Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: All your neighborhoods are belong to us!
First, a little mood movie:
Obama’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” has been commented on repeatedly, but it has the lack of press coverage of such a fundamentally transformative agenda is striking:
“The danger AFFH poses to Democrats explains why the press barely mentions it. This lack of curiosity, in turn, explains why the revolutionary nature of the rule has not been properly understood. Ultimately, the regulation amounts to back-door annexation, a way of turning America’s suburbs into tributaries of nearby cities.
“The plan has three elements: 1) Inhibit suburban growth, and when possible encourage suburban re-migration to cities. This can be achieved, for example, through regional growth boundaries (as in Portland), or by relative neglect of highway-building and repair in favor of public transportation. 2) Force the urban poor into the suburbs through the imposition of low-income housing quotas. 3) Institute “regional tax-base sharing,” where a state forces upper-middle-class suburbs to transfer tax revenue to nearby cities and less-well-off inner-ring suburbs (as in Minneapolis/St. Paul).
“If you press suburbanites into cities, transfer urbanites to the suburbs, and redistribute suburban tax money to cities, you have effectively abolished the suburbs. For all practical purposes, the suburbs would then be co-opted into a single metropolitan region.
” In other words, by obligating all localities receiving HUD funding to compare their demographics to the region as a whole, AFFH effectively nullifies municipal boundaries. Even with no allegation or evidence of intentional discrimination, the mere existence of a demographic imbalance in the region as a whole must be remedied by a given suburb. Suburbs will literally be forced to import population from elsewhere, at their own expense and in violation of their own laws. In effect, suburbs will have been annexed by a city-dominated region, their laws suspended and their tax money transferred to erstwhile non-residents.”
“There are plenty of ways in which HUD can pressure a suburb to bend to its will. The techniques go far beyond threats to withhold federal funds. The recent Supreme Court decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project has opened the door to ‘disparate impact’ suits against suburbs by HUD and private groups alike. That is, any demographic imbalance, whether intentional or not, can be treated by the courts as de facto discrimination.”
And just how will the Obama administration determine what is “fair”? By use of a “Fair Housing Assessment Tool“, of course.
“[T]here’s no better way to get a feel for just how intrusive and inappropriate AFFH is than by having a look at its ‘Fair Housing Assessment Tool,’ the questionnaire that every locality receiving HUD money is going to have to fill out.
“The final version of the Assessment Tool has not yet been released. HUD has… published a streamlined second version for public comment. But I find the initial version more revealing. The two versions don’t differ much in the information actually sought. The first version is a bit more tedious for a local bureaucrat to fill out, but more instructive about what sort of information HUD is actually after.”
Is there any hope? Hypothetically, yes:
“There is much that Congress can do, and much that you can do to make sure Congress acts.
“First, Congress needs to hold hearings on AFFH. The mainstream press has been straining to avoid AFFH. Let’s see if we can give them a story they’ll find hard to ignore. HUD Secretary Julian Castro needs to be called to answer questions before Congress on AFFH.
“Second, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar has introduced a stand-alone bill called the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act of 2015, H.R. 1995. This bill not only cancels AFFH and its intrusive and controlling “Assessment Tool,” it instructs HUD Secretary Castro to consult with local officials across the country on how to further the objective of fair housing, without new regulations.
” So to cut to the chase, if you want to stop AFFH, you need to contact your representatives in Congress and call on them to hold public hearings on AFFH and to support H.R. 1995, the Gosar Bill to eliminate President Obama’s intrusive regulation on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.”
Will a Republican Congress do anything about this?