President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation is part of a long-term effort by the Left to co-opt the suburbs into the cities and remove the perceived unfair advantages maintained by surburbanites over urban residents, according to an article in the National Review.
The writer, Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, argues that the administration has been influenced by from the book “Cities Without Suburbs,” written by David Rusk. From the piece:
Rusk, who works closely with Obama’s Alinskyite mentors and now advises the Obama administration, initially called on cities to annex their surrounding suburbs. When it became clear that outright annexation was a political non-starter, Rusk and his followers settled on a series of measures designed to achieve de facto annexation over time.
Kurtz says the rule effectively erases the line between city and suburb by forcing suburbs to import low-income residents into their areas and create the infrastructure to support them.
In significant measure, the rule amounts to a de facto regional annexation of America’s suburbs. To see why, let’s have a look at the rule. AFFH obligates any local jurisdiction that receives HUD funding to conduct a detailed analysis of its housing occupancy by race, ethnicity, national origin, English proficiency, and class (among other categories). Grantees must identify factors (such as zoning laws, public-housing admissions criteria, and “lack of regional collaboration”) that account for any imbalance in living patterns. Localities must also list “community assets” (such as quality schools, transportation hubs, parks, and jobs) and explain any disparities in access to such assets by race, ethnicity, national origin, English proficiency, class, and more. Localities must then develop a plan to remedy these imbalances, subject to approval by HUD . . .
It’s not enough for, say, Philadelphia’s “Mainline” Montgomery County suburbs to analyze their own populations by race, ethnicity, and class to determine whether there are any imbalances in where groups live, or in access to schools, parks, transportation, and jobs. Those suburbs are also obligated to compare their own housing situations to the Greater Philadelphia region as a whole.
So if some Montgomery County’s suburbs are predominantly upper-middle-class, white, and zoned for single-family housing, while the Philadelphia region as a whole is dotted with concentrations of less-well-off African Americans, Hispanics, or Asians, those suburbs could be obligated to nullify their zoning ordinances and build high-density, low-income housing at their own expense. At that point, those suburbs would have to direct advertising to potential minority occupants in the Greater Philadelphia region. Essentially, this is what HUD has imposed on Westchester County, New York, the most famous dry-run for AFFH . . .
And to make sure the new high-density housing developments are close to “community assets” such as schools, transportation, parks, and jobs, bedroom suburbs will be forced to develop mini-downtowns. In effect, they will become more like the cities their residents chose to leave in the first place.
Not only can HUD withhold funds from localities that don’t comply, but it and private groups can initiate “disparate impact” lawsuits that would treat any demographic imbalance as de facto discrimination.
Ultimately, as Kurtz indicates, this is apiece with Obama’s promise in 2008 to “spread the wealth around.” Only this time, instead of taxing the middle class and the wealthy and giving to the poor, he is moving the poor in with the middle and upper class and forcing them to pay the rent.