New Housing Rule Puts the Federal Government In Your Neighborhood... Literally

Aaron Bandler
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Posted: Jul 09, 2015 4:00 PM
New Housing Rule Puts the Federal Government In Your Neighborhood... Literally

This is kind of an important piece of news that isn't getting a lot of attention. Stanley Kurtz, one of my favorite writers, has written an expose at National Review on the Department of Housing and Urban Development's new rule, titled the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. And like so many of the laws coming out of D.C., this rule is affirmatively anything but fair.

The AFFH rule is 377 pages long. That in and of itself should be disconcerting, but the details are very chilling, as Kurtz explains: (emphasis mine)

AFFH is easily one of President Obama’s most radical initiatives, on a par with Obamacare in its transformative potential. In effect, AFFH gives the federal government a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood — imposing a preferred racial and ethnic composition, densifying housing, transportation, and business development in suburb and city alike, and weakening or casting aside the authority of local governments over core responsibilities, from zoning to transportation to education. Not only the policy but the political implications are immense — at the presidential, congressional, state, and local levels.

So all in one rule, HUD now has the power to decide the ethnic and income makeup of each local suburb- meaning forced population transfers- and take authority away from local governments. Kurtz explains further:

Once HUD gets its hooks into a municipality, no policy area is safe. Zoning, transportation, education, all of it risks slipping into the control of the federal government and the new, unelected regional bodies the feds will empower.

Now how would HUD be able to do this? Through federal money, of course:

AFFH will force every municipality that takes federal housing money to take a detailed survey of where its citizens live, by income, race, ethnicity, etc. If the mixture is not to the federal government’s liking, changes would have to be made at local expense. In effect, this would strip local governments of their zoning power.

Another word for this would be "blackmail."

Kurtz has been sounding the alarm on this for the past few years. In 2012, he wrote a book titled "Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities" explaining how Obama has a "regionalist" philosophy, the belief that suburbs are filled with greedy, evil white people that have caused the urban areas to be poor. So like a good Marxist, Obama's desire is to redistribute wealth from the suburbs to the cities.

For those of you who think that Kurtz is out in left field, Obama expresses his disdain for the suburbs in "Dreams From My Father":

Few have noticed the little digs at suburban “sprawl” throughout the book, as when Obama decries a Waikiki jammed with “subdivisions marching relentlessly into every fold of green hill.” Dreams actually begins with the tale of an African American couple who’ve come to question their move from city to suburb – the implication clearly being that the city is the moral choice.

Early on in Dreams, Obama tells of how his mother and Indonesian step-father, Lolo Soetoro, were pulled apart by a proxy version of the American dream. Lolo got a job with an American oil company, bought a house in a better neighborhood, and started dining at the company club. Obama’s mother, who had come to Indonesia in search of Third World authenticity, wanted nothing to do with the “ugly American” types who frequented this new world, and she taught her son to disdain them as well. From Obama’s perspective, American-inspired upward mobility had broken his new family in two.

And then along came one of his communist mentors, Frank Marshall Davis, who naturally held a regionalist view that he passed along to young Barry. It was Obama's disdain for the suburbs that led him to leave Occidental: (emphasis mine)

At Occidental, with Davis’s advice in mind, Obama worried that he was too much like “suburban blacks, students who sit with whites in the cafeteria and refuse to be defined by the color of their skin.” This fear of becoming a middle-class suburban “sellout” is the background to the famous passage of Dreams where Obama explains why he started hanging out with “Marxist professors” and other unconventional types. Recalling Davis’s admonition to reject the standard path to success, “the American way and all that s***,” Obama left Occidental’s suburban campus for Columbia University, “in the heart of a true city.”

But to truly take a look into Obama's view on the suburbs, look no further than Mike Kruglik, a community organizer who has been close with Obama. Kruglik also holds a regionalist philosophy, and it's very fascinating- while also scary- how his view developed. Kruglik and his band of community organizer cronies were succeeding in getting their agenda passed locally, only to see a lack of improvement. While any rational-thinking human being would come to the conclusion that that is evidence of the failure of government intervention, Kruglik and his fellow organizers' ideology blinded them into thinking they hadn't gone far enough:

They discovered the work of Myron Orfield and David Rusk, national leaders of the fight against suburban “sprawl” — and sponsors of a bold plan to redistribute suburban tax money to the cities.

Orfield and Rusk attributed urban decline to taxpayer “flight” to the suburbs. In their eyes, compulsory redistribution of suburban tax money to cities was the only lasting solution to urban decay. Kruglik and Obama’s other community organizing mentors embraced these ideas and have crusaded for them ever since. From his position on the boards of a couple of left-leaning Chicago foundations, Obama supported his mentors’ anti-suburban activism for years. Likewise, from the time he entered the Illinois State Senate right through to his service in the U.S. Senate, Obama continued to work closely with Kruglik on his anti-suburban crusade.

The suburbs are the reason for the urban poor, apparently. That's right, those of us in the suburbs who just wanted to live a nice, quiet life screwed over those in the city. Because... racism or something.

So with this ideology, and the recent AFFH rule, what is the endgame? The answer is very reminiscent of 1984:

The ultimate vision is to make all neighborhoods more or less alike, turning traditional cities into ultra-dense Manhattans, while making suburbs look more like cities do now. In this centrally-planned utopia, steadily increasing numbers will live cheek-by-jowl in “stack and pack” high-rises close to public transportation, while automobiles fall into relative disuse.

Because remember, cars are also destroying the planet with the massive amounts of CO2 being released!

But this is seriously scary stuff. Just look at what's happening in San Francisco and the Twin Cities. It's what Obama wants to do to the rest of the country, according to Kurtz, and is likely coming with this new AFFH rule.

Now if you're wondering why you haven't heard about this, it's because nobody's been covering it other than a handful of people like Kurtz. The American population is rightly opposed to government forcing the diversification of cities by income level. So the Obama administration has had to do this quietly, and the media has willingly abided, with scholars at the liberal Brookings Institute admitting as such on video. The exception to that is The Washington Post, where the author Emily Badger makes the reader think that this rule is the best thing ever.

The crux of her argument though is that there are still too many poor neighborhoods filled with minorities. Wouldn't a better solution be too rein in government so those stuck in these poor neighborhoods have a better chance at creating a comfortable life for themselves?

Instead, the government is going to tell us where and how to live. It won't happen right away, as it will take time to implement this. But as Kurtz points out, the enforcer of the AFFH rule is Julian Castro, who is touted to be Hillary Clinton's likely running mate. This could be an election issue, and one that could be very beneficial to Republicans if they decide to actively speak out on it. After all, we can't rely on the courts to overturn this given the Texas Housing v. Inclusive Communities decision.

But if they don't- and if we the American people don't- we will be living in a very different America, one without suburbs and with every city looking alike. 

Hello, Brave New World.