If the Department of Housing and Urban Development is allowed to implement a new regulation, the federal government could have unprecedented power over local zoning laws. At issue is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation, which aims to force municipalities to take drastic action to make sure American communities are properly integrated according to race. Critics say it’s a last-ditch, overriding effort to create an “unrealistic utopia.”
Using the carrot of grant money, the regulation would “encourage” communities to build HUD housing in more expensive areas, upgrade transportation and schools in low-income neighborhoods, and “break down barriers to access to opportunity in communities supported by HUD funds.”
Not surprisingly, conservatives are wary. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona said the Obama administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.” He argued that American citizens deserved to retain the right to choose where they wanted to live.
Proponents of the rule say that the plan is needed to give better opportunities to people in poverty. Debby Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance said it addressed our “history of putting affordable housing in poor communities.”
Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal since the late 1960s, but proponents of the AFFH regulation say they are targeting subtler forms of discrimination. Using the term “disparate impact” with great frequency, these supporters say that decades of public policy have actually prevented people from living where they want.
Always About Race
Expect this regulation to come from behind to become a sleeper issue in 2016. Out of nowhere, President Obama wants to slap a nice hunk of racially-focused “change” onto the United States. The GOP-led house voted for an amendment preventing HUD from implementing the regulation, but there’s still a chance that the original rule could pass the Senate. Especially if Americans aren’t aware of the damning effects it could have on local autonomy. Is the federal government better at determining local zoning than those actually living in the community? Few would agree.
The outcome of such a rule is unpredictable, but you can be assured that wealthy Americans are not going to stand idly by and watch their neighborhoods be destroyed by low-income housing. We’re not going to see blocks of HUD housing go up behind gated communities. No, the people who will suffer will be the middle class Americans who have worked hard to provide their families with a certain level of insulation from the crime-filled streets. Now the Obama administration wants to force them to live in danger.
It goes once again to the liberal mindset. For them, it’s not enough that Americans have equal opportunity. They are not finished until every American has an equal outcome as well.