Last week I sent you an article entitled “High-Density Urban vs Suburban Housing: A Choice or a Mandate for the Future”
The purpose of the article was to call attention and sound an alarm about a regulation approved in 2015 by President Obama.
President Obama issued a regulation known as AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing). The objective was to create progressive urban mini cities within the suburbs. Suburbs would be swallowed up by larger cities nearby, which would be subject to federal mandates to control zoning and development. This would include the elimination of single-family zoning and forced building of medium to high-density low-income housing, thereby creating mini urban styled downtowns. The objective was to replace the basic character of suburbs which will be swallowed up and function as part of larger cities. Losing local government control is the key to the destruction of the suburban lifestyle.
AFFH worked by holding hostage the issuance of U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD’s) Community Development Block Grants. Suburbs were to be prohibited from receiving millions of dollars in HUD grants unless they eliminate single-family zoning, install low and moderate cost housing and agree to consolidate and densify commercial and residential districts like stack-and-pack neighborhoods in urban areas. Highway funds may also be withheld. Any objections by local municipalities could get municipal leaders of the suburbs sued for discrimination by civil rights groups, or by the federal government.
Before this strategy could be implemented Trump won the presidency in 2016. He viewed this as a radical initiative, and therefore no effort was put forth to begin the strategy. Up until this week Dr. Ben Carson who heads up HUD as Secretary has not gotten rid of this onerous AFFH regulation.
As of Thursday, July 23, 2020, Dr. Ben Carson revoked the entire regulation originally designed to eliminate racial disparities in suburbs and deemed the entire structure as “unworkable.” Separate new rules will be created to challenge alleged historical patterns of racial segregation when developers are attempting to qualify for HUD financing.
“Washington has no business dictating what is best to meet your local community’s unique needs,” Carson said. The rule was “Unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with.”
On the other hand, presidential candidate Joe Biden has openly stated that as part of his progressive movement he planned to accelerate the AFFH process from day one to take over suburbia if he is elected president.
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