Empower Wisconsin | Aug. 5, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Joe Biden’s got a plan for a “complete makeover” of suburban America.
It’s an extension of an Obama-era “fair housing” policy that would bring broad federal control over local zoning decisions, forcing communities to reduce lot sizes, limit the expansion of single family homes and require high density, low income housing units in exchange for federal funding.
Betsy McCaughey calls the so-called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule an “Obama-era social engineering scheme.” In a recent piece in the New York Post, the former lieutenant governor of New York wrote:
Starting in 2015, President Barack Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development floated a cookie-cutter requirement for “balanced housing” in every suburb. “Balanced” meant affordable even for people who need federal vouchers. Towns were obligated to “do more than simply not discriminate,” as a 2013 HUD proposal explained. Rather, towns had to make it possible for low-income minorities to choose suburban living and provide “adequate support to make their choices possible.”
Had the rule been implemented nationwide, towns everywhere would have had to scrap zoning, build bigger water and sewer lines to support high-density living, expand schools and social services and add mass transit. All pushing up local taxes. Towns that refused would lose their federal aid.
Last month, Trump announced he was scrapping the Obama-era power grab.
“After reviewing thousands of comments on the proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation, we found it to be unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with, too often resulting in funds being steered away from communities that need them most,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a press release.
Biden’s $640 billion housing plan would implement and expand the rule. The government mandate requires any community receiving federal HUD funding to “proactively examine housing patterns and identify and address policies that have a discriminatory effect.”
“All of this is designed to remake the suburbs in the image of cities which people, for a whole variety of reasons, are fleeing now en masse,” policy watcher Bonner R. Cohen recently told conservative talk radio host Vicki McKenna.
The public-relations firm for Democrats and the Biden’s presidential campaign — the mainstream media — declared Trump’s latest regulation cut is racist.
As McCaughey points out, African Americans have been steadily leaving inner cities for suburbs, according to Brookings Institution data. They want out of the noise and the violence and the failure of big cities. They want their kids to be able to be kids. Biden and his socialist dream team would effectively bring all the problems of the city to the suburbs, Cohen said.
“It is designed for a complete makeover of suburban and small town life as we know it …,” the policy expert said.