“Home Sweet Home”
Photo: Ileana Johnson 2015
On July 8, 2015, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). HUD describes this rule – “everyone can access affordable, quality housing regardless of their “race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status.” http://www.hud.gov/news/index.cfm
HUD’s Secretary, Julian Castro, stated that “unfortunately, too many Americans find their dreams limited by where they come from, and a ZIP code should never determine a child’s future.” To make sure all Americans have access to “safe, affordable housing in communities that are rich with opportunity,” HUD will socially reengineer where we live.
This new AFFH (15-084) HUD rule was issued based on “recommendations made by a 2010 Government Accountability Office report, stakeholders, and HUD program participants.”
Those who receive grants from HUD must analyze “their fair housing landscape and set locally determined fair housing priorities and goals through an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH).
“To aid communities in this work, HUD will provide open data to grantees and the public on patterns of integration and segregation, racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, disproportionate housing needs, and disparities in access to opportunity.” Armed with such sensitive information, HUD grantees will then force their goals onto existing communities and housing planning processes. “In addition to providing data and maps, HUD will also provide technical assistance to aid grantees as they adopt this approach.” http://www.huduser.gov/portal/affht_pt.html#final-rule
Tom DeWeese, President of the American Policy Center, explained that the AFFH Rule “will virtually erase the very concept of local rule by your locally elected representatives.” Massive demographic analyses will be undertaken on communities that apply for HUD grants “to determine if there are enough low income and minority people living in every neighborhood. HUD will search the records of every person in each neighborhood for income levels, race, color, religion, national origin and much more.” Such data mining will take place every five years.
According to Ken Blackwell and Rick Manning, “AFFH rule seeks to radically reinvent local zoning laws in the United States – reengineering America’s neighborhoods based on racial and ethnic quotas. Under the rule’s assessment tool, local governments are required to ‘identify neighborhoods or areas in the jurisdiction and region where racial/ethnic groups are segregated.” www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/12/04/congress-must-stop-team-obamas-plan-to-radically-reengineer-americas-neighborhoods.html
The AFFH Rule has transformed the $3.5 billion annual program into “a political redistricting tool.”
Tom DeWeese warned that the AFFH Rule will cause property values to plummet, equity in homes will disappear, the government will replace your locally elected representatives, wealth will be redistributed, private property ownership will be destroyed, and local control will disappear.
Key features under this HUD AFFH Rule are as follows:
– Clarifying existing fair housing obligations (standardization and transparency)
– Publicly open data on fair housing and access to opportunity (HUD will provide open data and mapping tools)
– Balanced approach to fair housing (invest to revitalize distressed areas and expand access to HUD housing throughout the entire community regardless of pre-existing zoning)
– Expanding access to opportunity (“The strength of America’s economy, the stability, and security of its neighborhoods, and the ability for all to prosper depends on all Americans having equal access to opportunity – no matter what they look like or where they come from.”)
– Valuing local data and knowledge (publicly open data will assist with their assessment of fair housing)
– Customized tools for local leaders (fair housing assessment data and tools are specific to local jurisdictions, public housing authorities, and states and Insular Areas)
– Collaboration is encouraged (regional fair housing priorities and goals)
– Community voice (community participation in analyzing fair housing conditions)
– A phased-in approach (additional time to adopt AFFH rule)
– Additional time for small grantees and recent regional collaborations (for areas receiving $500,000 grants or less, and areas receiving HUD’s Sustainable Communities competition grants)http://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/AFFH_Final_Rule_Executive_Summary.pdf
DeWeese called this AFFH what it really is – communism. To fight back, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-4th district) of Arizona introduced an amendment to prevent HUD from implementing AFFH. The House passed this amendment (229-193) and attached it to Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill (THUD).
Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced a similar amendment in the Senate called the “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act” (S.1909). Co-sponsors are Senators Jeff Sessions, David Vetter, Mike Enzi, and Marco Rubio. THUD will come up for a vote any time now. It is up to you to call your senators to fight against this massive and irreversible social engineering of America and redistribution of your wealth. Forcing people to live in neighborhoods of the government’s choosing has been tried under communism with disastrous results.