An African-American millionaire can buy a home in any expensive suburb. Color is no longer a barrier.
Despite this progress, President Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development is accusing expensive towns of racism, simply because most minorities can’t afford to live there.
Westchester County has struggled under a federal monitor since 2009 to compel the county to build multi-unit affordable housing in the county’s most expensive areas.
Hillary Clinton claims to be a warrior against inequality. But her adopted hometown of Chappaqua is battling HUD’s demands — and that means it’s fighting the man believed to top Hillary’s veep shortlist, HUD Secretary Julian Castro.
The legal war in Hillary’s backyard is a preview. HUD’s soon-to-be-released regulation, in the works since 2013, will compel affluent suburbs across the nation to build more high-density, low-income housing, plus sewers, water lines, bus routes and other changes needed to support it.
Obama’s social engineers will eliminate local zoning requirements to achieve what the HUD rule calls “inclusive communities.” Property values be damned.
If you’ve worked hard to afford a home in an affluent neighborhood of single-family houses, you have a lot to lose under this HUD plan.
The HUD rule twists the original and laudable intent of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which is to bar housing discrimination.
The new rule states towns must “affirmatively further” diversity. If low-income minorities want to move to a town but can’t afford it, the town must “provide adequate support to make their choice viable.”
Whether HUD’s plan goes forward will depend largely on how the Supreme Court rules in Texas Dept. of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project, a lawsuit brought to demand public housing be located in wealthy Dallas suburbs.
By the end of June, the court will decide whether Texas is guilty of racism for putting public housing in lower-income areas of Dallas, close to existing public transportation, rather than in costly areas.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are trying to halt HUD’s new plan by depriving it of funding.
To do that, the House passed an amendment sponsored by Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar on June 11, but its prospects for success in the Senate are uncertain.
HUD’s plan is frightening. Phase one will collect data on poverty, school-testing scores and public-transit sites from every Census division to spot towns that have too few poor residents.
If a town’s guilty, HUD will charge racism and demand more public housing.
Race is being cynically exploited by officials as a pretext to accomplish something else entirely — economic integration.
HUD’s plan is a power grab. Nothing in the Constitution empowers the federal government to do this.
Zoning is a local power.
If the justices and Congress fail to stop HUD’s scheme, expect Hillary “Rodham Hood” Clinton to champion it (with a carve-out for Chappaqua, of course).
Short of taxing the rich to death, these inequality warriors would like nothing better than to prevent the rich from enjoying the suburbs, far from urban woes.
Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.