Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gloucester Housing To Dramatically Change In Near Future?

Obama administration using housing department to compel diversity in

In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the
Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule
that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s
neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems

The policy is called, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing." It will
require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every
single neighborhood and try to remedy it.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP
convention in July.

"Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter
how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child,
even her lifespan, is determined by the zip code she grows up in. This
is simply wrong,” he said.

Data from this discrimination database would be used with zoning laws,
housing finance policy, infrastructure planning and transportation to
alleviate alleged discrimination and segregation.

Specifics of the proposed rule are lacking. Now published in the
Federal Register and undergoing a 60-day comment period, the rule,
"does not prescribe or enforce specific” policies.

But one critic says it smacks of utopian idealism.

"This is just the latest of a series of attempts by HUD to social
engineer the American people," said Ed Pinto, of the American
Enterprise Institute. "It started with public housing and urban
renewal, which failed spectacularly back in the 50's and 60's. They
tried it again in the 90's when they wanted to transform house
finance, do away with down payments, and the result was millions of
foreclosures and financial collapse.”

Some fear the rule will open the floodgates to lawsuits by HUD -- a
weapon the department has already used in places like Westchester
County, N.Y., where mayors and attorneys representing several towns,
like Cortlandt, are writing HUD to protest burdensome fair housing
mandates that go far beyond those agreed to in a 2009 settlement with

One letter written by Cortlandt town attorney Thomas Wood expresses a
common dilemma.

"Cordlandt is mostly residential and has only a few vacant parcels
that could be developed for commercial use," he writes. "In order to
stabilize the tax base amongst the most affordable in Westchester
County, the Town Board needs to encourage the development of
commercial property for commercial use."

Rob Astorino, the Westchester County Executive recently said, "What
they are trying to do is to say discrimination and zoning is the same
thing. They are not. Discrimination won't be tolerated. I won't
tolerate it. Zoning though, protects what can and can't be built in a

Also troublesome to critics is that the HUD secretary, in announcing
this proposed rule, blamed poverty on zip codes – rather than other
socio-economic factors that studies have shown contribute to poverty.

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