October 5, 2022

Trump administration rolls back Obama-era housing rule

One of Trump’s top priorities since entering office is removing red tape that stands in the way of economic progress. In service of this objective, the Trump administration has issued a new rule that ends an Obama-era regulation that has prevented communities from allowing new housing to be built according to their needs.

The Obama administration’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) was targeted by the Trump administration because it was “unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with.”

According to the Associated Press, the AFFH is “a provision of the Fair Housing Act that requires local governments and zoning boards to submit detailed plans on how they intend to address racial disparities in order to obtain funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden has affirmed his commitment to expanding the AFFH, a position that former New York Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughey recently slammed in a Real Clear Politics op-ed:

Starting in 2015, Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development bureaucrats imposed a cookie-cutter requirement “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 HUD’s 2013 proposal explained, towns had to make it possible for low-income minorities to choose suburban living and provide “adequate support to make their choices possible.”

Towns 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.

The rule was one of the worst abuses of the Obama-Biden administration — a power grab masquerading as racial justice.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson suspended the Obama-era rule shortly after joining the Trump administration in 2018. Carson denounced the rule because local jurisdictions would be “forced to comply with complicated regulations that require hundreds of pages of reporting.”

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought hailed the decision to roll back the AFFH, saying that it’s a “major win for the American people … Washington should not have the power to social engineer our communities by leveraging federal resources. Thankfully, President Trump has stepped in to protect our neighborhoods, communities and families from the heavy hand of government.”

“In nearly every case, it is a fact that local governments are more adequately equipped to deal with their community’s unique needs than any unelected bureaucrat in Washington,” Carson explained on Wednesday.

The AFFH will be replaced by a new rule called Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice, which “will help promote housing that is affordable, decent, safe, and free from discrimination,” according to the White House.


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