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AFFH: Four Letters That Spell TROUBLE
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President Donald Trump is losing the suburbs. A June poll found that 65 percent of suburban voters had a favorable view of Black Lives Matter. A more recent poll reports that most Midwestern voters prefer Joe Biden over President Trump on race relations, protests, and “law and order.” Just 11 percent of suburban white voters said being “tough on crime” was their top issue; far more thought handling the pandemic was most important — and they thought Mr. Trump was doing a bad job with Covid-19. Suburban women strongly favor Mr. Biden over Mr. Trump. President Trump better hope that there is silent support in the suburbs, even as he tries to “save” them.

So what’s AFFH? “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” is a rule proposed by President Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2013 and formally decreed in 2015. It requires “significant actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, achieve truly balanced and integrated living patterns . . . and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.” It takes systemic discrimination for granted.

Julian Castro, President Obama’s last HUD Secretary, who oversaw AFFH.
Julian Castro, President Obama’s last HUD Secretary, who oversaw AFFH.

Local governments would have to fill out numbingly complicated Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) forms that report racial and economic data. AFFH also requires the “explicit” use of “fair housing planning.” AFHs must invite the public, “including individuals historically excluded because of characteristics protected by the Fair Housing Act, to provide input about fair housing issues, goals, priorities, and the most appropriate uses of HUD funds.”

In plain language, this means:

  • The government will analyze neighborhoods in intensive detail, looking for anything less than total racial and economic integration. It’s a massive exercise in data-gathering that assumes “discrimination” caused any deviation from ideal diversity.
  • It’s all about helping “protected classes” and consulting their representatives. They are the usual pets: non-whites, foreigners, etc. The word “protected” occurs 126 times in the 30-page AFH form. Every black church and Chicano association could be a “representative” and get its fingers in the pie.
  • The new rule will fight “racial or ethnic concentrations of poverty” and expand “economic opportunity” by bringing poor people and non-whites (often the same people) to your neighborhood.

If local governments don’t do as they are told, they won’t get HUD money, including housing grants. HUD will get information about insufficiently diverse communities, get advice from leftist groups, and, potentially, remake the suburbs. Senator Mike Lee called AFFH a “national zoning board” that would “choose what should be built, where, and who should pay for it — in order to make your neighborhood look more like they want it to.”

Section 8” is an important part of this plan. That’s the federal program that pays for housing for poor people. HUD gives the money to local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), which pay landlords directly. This is a huge savings for poor tenants. Landlords would rather have people who can pay their own way, but at least they get a guaranteed rent check. If cities lose Section 8 money, landlords are stuck with deadbeats. Not surprisingly, most places have more people who want Section 8 housing than landlords willing to rent to them. When Section 8 housing opens up, locals want to house their own poor, not far-away strangers. That is one of the things AFFH could change; what HUD did to Dubuque, Iowa, would be a model.

Riverdale Towers affordable housing in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York. (Credit Image: © Richard B. Levine / Levine Roberts / Newscom via ZUMA Press)
Riverdale Towers affordable housing in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York. (Credit Image: © Richard B. Levine / Levine Roberts / Newscom via ZUMA Press)

In 2011, the Obama Administration investigated Dubuque because it gave Section 8 vouchers to its own residents. The city was more than 90 percent white, so almost all applicants were old white people. HUD said that was discrimination, and forced the city to sign a “voluntary compliance agreement” in 2014. Dubuque wasn’t discriminating against blacks, but it would have lost millions in housing money if it had told HUD to buzz off.

The city had to write “a history of race relations in Dubuque,” list its own policies that “operated as impediments to fair housing choice,” and “integrate affordable housing without regard to race or ethnicity.” Specifically, it had to “remove all residency preference point allotments.” That meant importing Section 8 voucher-holders, many of them from Chicago and many of them black. Like most places with a large black population, the Section 8 waiting list in Chicago is very long, so enterprising blacks made the 200-mile trip to Dubuque. Some local whites were edged out.

Theresa Saunders and her son Doobie Lenear, 6, sit outside People Serving People, where they have been living while they are on a waiting list for section 8 housing. (Credit Image: © TNS via ZUMA Wire)
Theresa Saunders and her son Doobie Lenear, 6, sit outside People Serving People, where they have been living while they are on a waiting list for section 8 housing. (Credit Image: © TNS via ZUMA Wire)

If this export trade becomes common, big, black-run cities won’t bother to expand their own Section 8 programs. They could offload their poor. Combined with other ways to force integration, AFFH could be, as National Review wrote, the “end of local government in America.”

“Voluntary” agreements were a standard Obama administration tactic in education and policing as well. A “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Education forced schools to cut racial disparities in discipline by ending uniform treatment. If too many “students of color” were disciplined, the district could face an onerous federal investigation. The Obama Department of Justice forced consent decrees on local police to reduce racial differences in arrests and convictions. In housing, education, and crime, “disparate impact” was considered proof of racism.

A Hillary Clinton administration would probably have turned these edicts into permanent, national regulations. President Trump’s 2016 victory prevented this. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of all “consent decrees” in police departments. In 2018, the Department of Education and Justice Department issued a joint letter withdrawing the “Dear Colleague” letter from the Obama years.

Ben Carson criticized AFFH even before he became HUD secretary, and in 2020, he finally ended it. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) stupidly claimed that repealing AFFH meant President Trump was a “proud, vocal segregationist.”

Was National Review overstating things when it wrote that AFFH could mean the “end” of local government? It’s hard to say, because the new order was never fully implemented. The feds love to wield power, and we get a hint of that in this passage from the final version of AFFH issued on July 16, 2015. It says HUD can step in when:

a significantly higher proportion of the jurisdiction’s black residents experience a severe cost burden when compared to the proportion of the jurisdiction’s white residents . . . [or] when a higher proportion of Hispanic individuals with limited English proficiency experience substandard housing conditions than the proportion of the state’s population that experiences substandard housing conditions.

There are probably countless places that meet these criteria, and it’s not clear just how much bullying these conditions would justify. Would whites who struggle to pay rent get relief? Unlikely. The word “Asian” didn’t even appear in the rule.

AFFH worries that “a partnership of all-white communities” could set up a regional AFH that would “mask the fair housing issues in their jurisdictions.” Presumably, this means that Beverly Hills or Grosse Pointe Park, or other pleasant places with few non-whites and little Section 8 housing might try to claim AFFH doesn’t apply. HUD has them covered: This would not relieve them from the obligation of “analyzing and addressing fair housing issues and contributing factors.” Presumably, if no blacks live in your town, you have to eliminate the “racism” that kept them out.

But some communities don’t have to worry about HUD bludgeoning. “[N]eighborhoods with racially/ethnically concentrated areas of poverty” might face “gentrification,” and “it is important to retain the character of communities while investing more resources in the area rather than attempting to remove people who have cultural, ethnic and historical connections to their neighborhoods.” What does that mean? You would think gentrification brings exactly what HUD wants — integration — but not if non-whites don’t want it. They can keep the flavor of their neighborhoods; whites can’t.

Interestingly, in 2015, the time when AFFH was announced, a poll found that 83 percent of voters said it’s not the government’s job to promote neighborhood diversity. That was up from 74 percent two years earlier. Once again, the people know better than their rulers.

What was the statutory justification for pushing AFFH? The 1968 Fair Housing Act. The AFFH rule admitted the Fair Housing Act had limited ambitions: stop deliberate racial discrimination in housing. However, the rule claimed that when subsequent legislation introduced the idea that HUD had an obligation to “affirmatively further fair housing,” this changed everything.

What do those words mean? When Secretary Carson shut down AFFH, he wrote: “Hanging a massively intrusive regulatory structure on such a cryptic, four-word phrase is inconsistent with the separation of the bedrock principles of separation of powers.”

President Donald J. Trump and Ben Carson. (Credit Image: © Michael Reynolds / Avalon via ZUMA Press)
President Donald J. Trump and Ben Carson. (Credit Image: © Michael Reynolds / Avalon via ZUMA Press)

A Biden administration could decide those words are crystal clear. We have seen this time and again. Prohibiting racial discrimination — in hiring, college admissions, school discipline, housing — does not lead to the equal results our rulers want. Even preferences for blacks and Hispanics aren’t enough. So the goalposts keep shifting. Not even “conservatives” dare talk about inherent racial differences, so we have to invent “systemic racism” and “white privilege” to explain inequality.

Laws requiring equal treatment cannot produce equal outcomes, so the very legislation that forbade discrimination had to be reinterpreted to require it. This is what Christopher Caldwell meant when he argued that the civil rights revolution replaced the Constitution with a new order.

Unless Americans understand that race is real and has consequences, this revolution will never end. BLMania has pushed the fight against “systemic racism” into every corner of American life. A Democrat-controlled HUD could take the fight into your backyard.

Our “civil rights” laws were unjust even before they were perverted into tools for discrimination. We must demand a return to freedom of association. Real “fair housing” would let Americans live wherever they want, with whomever they want. For a Biden-Harris administration determined to “root out systemic racism,” deciding who your neighbors are could be only the beginning. We rose up against George III for far less.

(Republished from American Renaissance by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. I would be shocked if there is even a single HUD program in Beverly Hills. Communities that do not use HUD to begin with would not lose anything. Maybe I am wrong, but that would be my guess. U, as in urban, so suburrbs and rural areas would not be recieving HUD funding in the first place. They would not lose anything if they never used it.

  2. Conservatives are so polite to the harridans and their “men” responsible for enabling this insanity. White men need to learn to start hating the people who want to see their families harmed, before it’s too late.

  3. Rich says:

    Sen Chris Murphy of Connecticut represents a state that is really just a giant suburb, but he feels comfortable allowing NYC to offload its blacks who will pay less rent, if any rent, to disrupt the lives of his constituents. Murphy lived for years in Cheshire Connecticut which is less than 5% black and he grew up in Wethersfield with a population about 2% black. But he will lecture those who’ve been fighting blacks and their criminal inclinations for years. He should ask his parents why they fled White Plains for the White as driven snow suburb in Connecticut when he was a kid. He’s a disgrace.

  4. Boilz says:

    Pssssst…..wanna buy drugs….find the closest Section 8 housing….

  5. “….so enterprising blacks made the 200-mile trip to Dubuque”. To live on welfare. Doesn’t seem very enterprising to me.

    • Agree: 36 ulster
  6. .. affordable housing in the “Brownsville neighborhood” of Brooklyn in New York

    kinda says it all, they want to turn every quaint little town of white picket fences into a commonweath of Brownsvilles.

  7. It won’t happen here…where I now live…
    so help me God.
    This, I swear and affirm.

    Political, Agency and Zoning scumbags are mortal.
    R E developer, (((politically))) hooked up money launderers…common as dirt throughout this rat and snake infested nation, are mortal.
    Muds are mortal.
    A A/AFFH shoeboxes and rats nests won’t get started, local submissions of plans a Red Flag.
    Site grading and utilities will NEVER happen.
    The (((Vampire Pirates))) and their bought off stooges, want war ?
    The scum won’t believe what’s happening to them, even while it’s happening.

  8. anarchyst says:

    I grew up in Detroit, and personally witnessed the destruction of a once-great city. There are a number of reasons for Detroit’s decline that have never been explored or discussed.
    1. “Blockbusting” by greedy real estate agents. Real estate agents would send out postcards with the following: “A new family is moving into your neighborhood. If you wish to sell your house, please call me at xxx-xxxx”. A “new family” was a euphemism for black families, and was used to “encourage” whites to sell their homes.
    2. HUD (Housing and Urban Development) speculators and real estate hustlers conspired to “buy up” and raze the best houses on every block in certain sections of the city. Quite often, “shacks” were left standing while decent housing was purchased by HUD and razed. This was done purposely to depress property values, to make it easier for speculators to purchase properties at “bargain basement” prices.
    I realize that items 1 and 2 were at cross purposes, but they were a reality in 1960s Detroit.
    3. The 1967 riots did much to push whites out of Detroit. A little-known aspect of the Detroit riots was the application of spray-painted words on the exteriors of black-owned businesses. The words “soul brother” was spray-painted on businesses owned by blacks so that the “angels of death” (actually rioters) would spare them from destruction. Whole business districts around the city were destroyed, never to recover.
    4. The election of Coleman Alexander Young, Detroit’s first black mayor, who was overtly racist to Detroit’s white citizens while “getting along just fine” with the “movers and shakers” (big business people) of the day (as long as the campaign contributions kept coming in). White city residents were routinely cited and harassed with “violations” while their black neighbors who actually “trashed” the neighborhoods were ignored. It’s as if the city government WANTED us whites out.
    AFFH will seal the death of American near ring suburbs as well.
    Two Detroit suburbs (Eastpointe and Harper Woods) are already on their way to destruction by blacks as “random shootings” and other violent criminal acts are becoming common occurrences. Two formerly “nice places to live” are being reduced to “combat zones”.
    The only way for suburbs to resist this encroachment is to refuse to accept ALL federal funds. I’ll bet that very few will do so.

  9. A123 says:

    President Donald Trump is losing the suburbs. A June poll found that 65 percent of suburban voters had a favorable view of Black Lives Matter.

    September polling shows that BLM support is cratering. (1)
    .

    .
    There is every reason to believe that rampant BLM violence will continue to drive voters to Trump over the next 60 days.

    Unless BLM Biden steals the election, AFFH will remain in the grave where Trump buried it.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.unz.com/anepigone/blm-takes-two-steps-forward-one-step-backwards/

  10. anarchyst says:

    Actually HUD director Dr. Ben Carson did not specifically declare AFFH to be “dead” but that it could be useful in some form.

    Dr. Carson is a decent human being, but being black, he is not to be trusted.

    Dr. Carson was a guest on a FOX News show. After the Zimmerman verdict for acquittal was announced, Carson stated that “Zimmerman should have been CONVICTED of something” (his exact words). I damn near fell out of my chair when I heard THAT.

    How Dr. Carson could defend a thug that was beating a man’s brains in was beyond me. As is usual for blacks, Dr. Carson harbors a “race card”.
    Dr. Carson’s “take” on the Second Amendment to the Constitution is also problematic.

    He advocates restricting semi-automatic weapons to rural areas only. His exact quotes: “It depends on where you live. I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it. However, if you live “out in the country somewhere by yourself” and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, he added, “I’ve no problem with that.”

    Of course, since Dr. Carson was running for president, he attempted to “back-pedal” on his anti-Second Amendment views…

    Dr. Carson advocates mandatory vaccinations for all…children and adults with NO exceptions…not even for those with religious or adverse reactions to vaccinations.

    The “straw that broke the camel’s back” was his appearance with “reverend” Al Sharpton at his “National Action Network” (racist) organization news conference. It was there where he reverted to “ghetto talk” being with his own kind, using “aks” for ask, and other black colloquialisms, etc. In the back of my mind, I am sure that “the good Dr.” was helped along by “affirmative action”

    As a matter of record, Dr. Carson attempted to murder a “friend” when he was 14-years old. He had “anger issues”, and was quite dangerous to be around. “A classmate came along and began to ridicule me. I had a large camping knife in my hand and without thinking,” he writes, “I lunged at him, plunging the knife into his abdomen.”

    To his credit, Dr. Carson wrote about it in his book: “I had real anger issues. I would just fly off the handle and really become quite irrational and try to hurt people with baseball bats, hammers, whatever. In this particular case, I happened to have a large camping knife. And, you know, one of my friends angered me. And I just lunged at his abdomen with the knife. Probably would have seriously injured or killed him, but he happened to have on a large metal belt buckle under his clothing, upon which the blade broke.”

    Dr. Carson is a potential “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and is not to be trusted.

  11. Hibernian says:

    …And, you know, one of my friends angered me. And I just lunged at his abdomen with the knife. Probably would have seriously injured or killed him, but he happened to have on a large metal belt buckle under his clothing, upon which the blade broke.

    By the grace of God, the friend, who according to another account I read was his cousin, was unharmed. A flawed man can do good work, and the incident was a long time ago. Since then he’s separated Siamese twins, so I don’t think he’s a “product” of affirmative action. Not denying he likely got some boost from it.

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