As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: housing

Report: Obama Program Would Allow Cities to Annex Suburbs

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.

Fannie Chief Has Some Money to Lend You!

Oops, we’re doing it again!

Seems like President Obama knew what he was doing when he appointed Mel Watt to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He wanted a return to the days of easy credit that CAUSED THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Here, pay it back when you can.
Here, pay it back when you can.

Because Obama really does think George W. Bush caused the Great Recession. Actually, it was Lefty lending policies that put people in houses they couldn’t afford. Obama’s contribution to solving this problem has been to NOT work to disband Fannie and Freddie, which is what was supposed to happen. Instead, he’s put them right back on track to screw up again

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt signaled today that he was reversing the tough-love direction set by his predecessor, the Bush-appointed Edward DeMarco, announcing that he will not force Fannie and Freddie to reduce their maximum loan limits, an idea DeMarco was contemplating. The mortgage loan limits for 2014 are $417,000 for a single-family home in most areas, and up to $625,500 in high-cost areas

What’s more, according to the Wall Street Journal, Watt said Fannie and Freddie will be helping prop up Detroit:

He also said Fannie and Freddie would participate in a new pilot program focused on neighborhood stabilization in Detroit that could be expanded to other parts of the country later. “We believe this will be a win-win for hardest hit communities and for our conservatorship objectives,” he said in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

Even after the economic calamity of 2008 and 2009, the Left is so sure of itself that it can’t grasp that it was its own polices that caused the near-demise of capitalism. As long as you’re convinced Bush and the evil wealthy did it, then all you need to do is not have Bush around and close the income gap, and everything will be fine.

And then we can have the housing market crash again in a few years under a Republican president, and blame him again.

Obama to Force Integration of Neighborhoods

President Obama appears set to move boldly beyond prosecuting discriminatory housing practices into an entirely new arena: holding state and local official responsible for integrating areas that don’t, in the eyes of the administration, have enough minorities.

Get ready folks. We’re moving from a society based on equal opportunity for all to one requiring equal results for all. And you think I’m overdoing when I say Obama is prodding us toward Socialism?

Ah yes, fairness for all, and responsibility from all.

Sound familiar?

IT SOUNDS FAMILIAR TO ME!
IT SOUNDS FAMILIAR TO ME!

In a speech to the NAACP last week that is only now gaining attention, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan said the administration is letting neighborhoods know if they don’t have enough minorities:

HUD is enhancing its enforcement techniques by initiating investigations on our own without waiting for individuals to file complaints . . .

For the first time ever, HUD is providing information, data to every single neighborhood in the nation, detailing what access African American families and other members of protected classes have to the community assets that I’m talking about – jobs, schools, transit.

Have a look at the remarks and some reporting by  Chris Stirewalt of Fox News:

Here’s some additional reporting from Stirewalt on the Fox website.

The old way was to punish exclusion. The new way is to punish lack of inclusion.

The punishment is also different. Rather than fines and prosecutions for those who sought to keep minorities out, the new penalty would be a withholding of federal funds from local and state government agencies dependent on HUD grants if they fail to push greater diversity. The way those agencies interact with developers, realtors, homeowners associations and others would need to reflect the federal push for diversity.

The report card comes in the form of the new maps, which use Census data to score communities on their racial and ethnic concentrations, as well as income and community services

Wow. Officials will now be trying to protect themselves from losing out on federal funding by moving minorities into neighborhoods WHETHER THEY WANT TO BE THERE OR NOT. And – talk about unintended consequences – whether they can afford to be there or not. Unless – yes, my crystal ball, please – the government decides that minorities should be offered a special price for a home.

This type of social engineering has so much potential for abuse, unfairness, and interference in the normal workings of the economy that it’s almost impossible to believe the Obama and his commissars are serious. And yet, it seems they are.

Did you think Obama was going to stop at taking over your health care? It’s just the beginning, baby.

Okay, that video is satire. At least, for me it is. No I don’t think Obama is a Communist. But he has fundamental problems with the capitalist philosophy that has guided this country to greatness. Because, you know, it doesn’t spread the wealth around quite enough.

H/T to Gateway Pundit.

Obama Seeks Housing Crisis, Part II

Do you know what I like to do?

Do you?

I will tell you.

I like to bang my head against the wall. And then, when it starts to hurt, I like to bang it some more. And then, when my skull cracks open and my brains fall out, I like to pick them up off the floor – three second rule applies here – and put them back in. And then?

That’s right. I like to bang my head against the wall some more.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I read the following headline in the Washington Post:

Obama administration pushes banks to make home loans to people with weaker credit

 
Thats what it said.

AS IF NOTHING EVER WENT WRONG THE LAST TIME WE TRIED THIS.

There’s no mystery to the current fix we’re in. Liberal policymakers – with the acquiescence of some Republicans and the benign neglect of others – decided it was beneath the dignity of people who can’t afford homes not to have them. And so they incentivized irresponsible lending by providing guarantees – AKA Fannie and Freddie Mac – that taxpayers will pick up the tab when the inevitable result of lending to people who can’t make their loan payments occurs.

But some people – me included – like to keep banging their heads against the wall. From the article:

President Obama’s economic advisers and outside experts say the nation’s much-celebrated housing rebound is leaving too many people behind, including young people looking to buy their first homes and individuals with credit records weakened by the recession.

Awww. This is really breaking my heart. Now young people already hanging out on their parents’ health insurance, after partying through their federally subsidized college years, must have a house of their where all their friends can come over and watch “Two and a Half Men” together without the landlord getting pissed off.

And who are these individuals with credit records weakened by the recession? Sounds to me like PEOPLE WITH BAD CREDIT. I can hear the loan interview:

Q  Was your credit weakened by the recession?

A  What? Yes, of course, the recession did it.

Q  Great. Sign here.

The Post piece continues:

“If you were going to tell people in low-income and moderate-income communities and communities of color there was a housing recovery, they would look at you as if you had two heads,” said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a nonprofit housing organization. “It is very difficult for people of low and moderate incomes to refinance or buy homes.”

OMG, then I would have TWO HEADS TO BANG AGAINST THE WALL. Pure heaven.

So let me translate this. This person is angry because people who don’t have enough money to buy homes can’t buy them.

You know, low and moderate income people are also being left out of the Lamborghini market. I say, let’s give them Lamborghinis too!

Banks WANT to lend money. That’s how they make money. Not by sitting on their cash like a bunch of financial finches warming their eggs. But they don’t lend money if they make a BUSINESS CALCULATION that the money ain’t coming back.

This all could get chocked up to typical misguided liberal do-gooderism if we hadn’t been down this road before and seen that it leads straight off a cliff.

cliff

I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to take advantage of one of these new loans and buy me a house with a really strong wall. And then?

You guessed it. I’m going to bang my head against it again and again, just to see if it hurts this time.

Petty Punishment for the Washington Post

The Washington Post this morning ran an excellent piece about how President Obama has come up way short on his promises to help the housing market.

And so . . .

Today, Obama will travel to Las Vegas where he will outline new steps to help borrowers refinance. The White House leaked the story to the Post’s chief competitors on the national newspaper scene, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as Reuters.

But not the Post.

Quoting administration officials, here’s a portion of the Journal’s description of Obama’s proposal, which it says Obama is expected to talk about Monday:

The overhaul will, among other things, let borrowers refinance regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value, eliminating previous limits. The plan will streamline the refinance process by eliminating appraisals and extensive underwriting requirements for most borrowers. Fannie and Freddie have also agreed to waive some fees that made refinancing less attractive for some.

Here’s the sum of what the Post has on it:

(Obama will) mention a program to be unveiled as soon as Monday that will reduce monthly payments for some underwater borrowers.

Ironically, the Post piece is a balanced article that notes the arguments within the administration about how much could really be done on housing and whether it was the best use of taxpayer money to be bailing out homeowners. Many economists argue that until the housing market is allowed to shake out, with many borrowers losing their homes, the market will never come back and the economy will remain hobbled by the housing sector.

Obama actually comes off looking responsible in the piece, balancing the plaintive letters he reads from homeowners with hard headed economic advice he’s getting from Treasury Secretary Geithner and others.

I assume Post White House Reporter Zachary Goldfarb, who wrote the story, got the full fusillade of profanity-laced fake fury from the White House press office, which is routinely served up to those who write articles the White House doesn’t like.

The purpose of such treatment, and the denial of the housing “scoop” to the Post, would be to get inside Goldfarb’s head so that he doesn’t try this again. Many reporters can’t help but think twice before writing something that will result in verbal abuse, and short-sighted editors get very nervous when the competitors have a story that they don’t.

Hopefully, Goldfarb and his editors will be undeterred.