Prepare to be shocked. Most Americans want to maintain local control over the communities they live in. Recently the Trump administration ended an Obama-Biden era regulation called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. This regulation withheld federal grants from communities that did not agree to push low-income housing into neighborhoods to promote diversity.
When the Trump administration announced the move, woke Twitter considered it out of touch. They assume suburban families would be eager to give up local control of their communities on everything from zoning to drawing school districts. Under the AFFH, all of this would be subject to the federal bureaucracy. HUD would also be able to control the placement of transportation and business districts.
The Biden housing proposal goes even further to mandate compliance by withholding highway repair dollars from communities that refuse to obey. While many suburbs could forego grants, the road repair funds will be much more difficult to function without.
According to a new Rasmussen poll, 83% of likely voters say the federal government should not play a role in deciding where people can live. Under the AFFH rule, Biden has vowed to distribute low-income housing in a way that will force people to relocate. Necessarily, people requiring reduced rent will need to go where the housing is located.
The guise for the policy is to promote diversity. According to Stanely Kurtz appearing on Life, Liberty, and Levin, this is a pure pretext. As my colleague Jeff reported after the show:
Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told Levin that former President Obama and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party view suburbs as fundamentally unjust communities that prevent taxation from flowing into the urban cities they surround. This echoes what many have observed about progressive taxation policies–that they seek to redistribute wealth from people who have fled America’s cities for a better quality of life.
Unfortunately for Joe Biden and the radical left, 65% of Americans say diversifying neighborhoods is not their job. Even a majority of Democrats at 56% take this position. Kurtz explained how the federal government would go about creating “diversity” under the AFFH rule in a Biden administration:
To be clear, HUD still investigates violations of fair housing laws. It is unlawful to discriminate based on race in any housing situation. The Trump administration has been very aggressive on this front, resolving nearly 23,000 complaints since January 2017. This progress included a significant backlog from the Obama administration.
So the government does have a role in ensuring diversity in communities by enforcing existing law. However, the Trump administration believes zoning, drawing school districts, and other zoning issues are best left to the local government and residents.
This type of local control will disappear under the AFFH that will be reinstated by a Biden administration. Instead, they will try and create regional governing consortiums. Kurtz explained:
The AFFH will allow the feds to push local governments into regional governing consortiums. Now, what does that gobbledygook actually mean? It means it will try to create a layer of government in between the federal government and local government. A layer of government that corresponds to your local metropolitan area. So if you are in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia, it will try to remove your governing responsibilities and hand them over to the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, which will probably take a chunk of your tax dollars.
In the current environment, there are even more significant concerns about this type of arrangement. If Minneapolis decides to defund their police department, does that mean these policies would apply to the suburbs included in the greater Minneapolis area? If Seattle refuses to enforce vagrancy laws or allows homeless individuals to set up wherever, would these ordinances apply to the greater Seattle metropolitan area?
There are a lot of loony policies going on in deep blue progressive cities that suburban residents would not agree with. That is why they chose not to live in the city. With increases in the number of people leaving some of those urban areas, there will likely be more pressure to create this layer, especially as these cities lose their tax base due to businesses that will never reopen and residents fleeing the chaos.
It is interesting to note that blacks are most concerned with the racial or ethnic make-up of their neighborhood. 63% of black voters said this was important to them versus 35% of whites and 44% of other minority voters. The survey question does not qualify the quality of this concern. It is impossible to tell whether respondents’ preference is for greater diversity when considering the ethnic make-up of their neighborhood or a preference to be around their own race.
Ultimately, the Trump strategy should be to make the full impact of this policy clear to all voters. Every voter will lose control and input into how their schools, neighborhoods, public services, and commercial areas are organized in their town. Those same services and officials will become less accountable to the taxpayers who fund the social contract.
Once this rule is implemented, it will create situations, institutions, and infrastructure that would be almost impossible to reverse. If voters want to maintain control over their communities through an accountable local government, it is impossible to vote for Joe Biden.