We have written extensively about the Obama administration’s war on the suburbs, an important part of its project of “fundamentally transforming” America. Investors Business Daily writes:
Under a sweeping new federal housing mandate, the Obama administration threatens to withhold funding for cities and counties that fail to remove local zoning laws and other potentially “discriminatory barriers” that restrict low-income housing in wealthy neighborhoods. More than 1,200 municipalities will be impacted by the highly contested rule, which the Housing and Urban Development Department put into effect Wednesday. …
The massive 377-page regulation requires local authorities to take “meaningful actions” to diversify neighborhoods. Municipalities that don’t comply risk losing millions in federal grant money. Some could face federal housing-bias probes. …
HUD’s new rule, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” requires municipalities “to perform an assessment of land use decisions and zoning to evaluate their possible impact on fair housing choice,” it said. “This assessment must be consistent with fair housing and civil rights requirements.” …
In a companion “Fair Housing Assessment Tool,” HUD counts “land use and zoning laws, such as minimum lot sizes, limits on multi-unit properties, height limits, or bedroom-number limits as well as requirements for special use permits (and) occupancy restrictions” among “factors contributing to segregated housing patterns.”
Coming to a neighborhood near you: subsidized apartment housing for minorities.
The New York Times editorial board thinks this is great, of course:
Last week, the Obama administration took an even more important step — one that has already changed the decades-long discussion about how to combat residential segregation. …
For the new rules to be effective, federal officials need to make clear that local governments can lose federal housing aid if they persist in dumping subsidized housing into depressed, racially isolated communities instead of putting more of it in integrated areas that offer better schools and job opportunities.
The Times editorial board can’t write about anything without getting hysterical:
The Fair Housing Act was intended to break down historic patterns of segregation. But it was undercut from the start by federal officials, including presidents who believed that segregation was the natural order of things.
Really? The FHA was enacted in 1968, long after Woodrow Wilson left office. I wonder what presidents since 1968 the Times thinks “believed that segregation was the natural order of things.” The paper discreetly leaves then unnamed.
A reader endorses the Times’s position, and has some suggestions for where local authorities should start putting subsidized housing:
I know exactly where to start: whatever white-topia the Sulzburgers live in. Let’s integrate that. Hyannis, Massachusetts, also comes to mind. And I especially want to make sure that subsidized integrated housing gets built right next door to Nick Kristof, too.
In fact, EVERY Dem elected and appointed official, and every liberal editorial board member, should VOLUNTEER as to how they personally will “affirmatively further fair housing” right where they live. Let’s begin with Chappaqua, New York.
I also like the idea of regional housing vouchers and regional consideration of zoning. I would apply it especially in suburban Boston and the northeast generally. In fact, let’s break up the towns themselves. They are creations of the state legislature anyway, so why have them in their current form if they perpetuate disparate impact in housing? LOL! The whole point of having little exclusive bedroom communities is precisely to have disparate impact!
Let them put their money where their double-talking two-faced hypocritical mouths are. Give it to them good and hard.
Let’s not forget Marin County, either. According to Wikipedia, Marin County, which may be America’s most liberal, is 80% white, 5.5% Asian, and only 2.8% African-American. This is obviously a place in need of more affordable housing: the most recent census shows 61,264 single-family homes, compared with a measly 210 mobile homes and 1,316 multifamily residential units. Those numbers show that Marin County desperately needs large, subsidized apartment complexes where minorities can live close to good job opportunities and schools. More mobile home parks, too. In the 2014 governor’s race, by the way, Marin County voted 78% for the Democrat and 22% for the Republican. So I am sure a majority of its residents will applaud the Obama administration’s new “fair housing” initiative and will welcome its application to their communities.
We Republicans tend to be middle-income voters who live in communities that are relatively integrated, so the consequences of the administration’s new diktat will fall most heavily on liberal enclaves. In recent elections, the Democrats have been carrying high-income voters. It will be interesting to see how that changes when the implications of the administration’s latest effort at fundamental transformation takes hold.