President Trump again vowed to “save our suburbs” from the “crime and chaos in Democrat run cities,” this time in a joint op-ed with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson published in the Wall Street Journal.
“We won’t allow this to happen,” Trump and Carson wrote. “That’s why we stopped the last administration’s radical social-engineering project that would have transformed the suburbs from the top down. We reversed an Obama-Biden regulation that would have empowered the Department of Housing and Urban Development to abolish single-family zoning, compel the construction of high-density “stack and pack” apartment buildings in residential neighborhoods, and forcibly transform neighborhoods across America so they look and feel the way far-left ideologues and technocratic bureaucrats think they should.”
Last month, Trump rescinded President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which Trump said, “took away decision-making from local communities.”
Part of the Fair Housing Act, the AFFH rule under Obama was designed to “set out a framework for local governments, States, and public housing agencies to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Under the old AFFH rule, HUD provides a Far Housing AFH Assessment Tool, “which includes instructions and data provided by HUD, consists of a series of questions designed to help program participants identify, among other things, fair housing issues pertaining to patterns of integration and segregation; racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty; disparities in access to opportunity; and disproportionate housing needs, as well as the contributing factors for those issues.”
A Trump Administration fact sheet says, “This action ends the Federal encroachment on local communities that threatened our nation’s suburbs. The Obama Administration’s original AFFH rule attempted to take local zoning decisions out of the hands of local communities.”
It also claims “AFFH would have imposed a massive regulatory burden on localities, required high density zoning, eliminated single family zoning, and destroyed our suburbs. This overregulation of our suburbs would have harmed Americans’ abilities to work, buy homes, and build lives for their families, including many minority communities.”
In the op-ed, Trump and Carson say “America was founded on liberty and independence, not government coercion, domination and control. It would be a terrible mistake to put the federal government in charge of local decisions—from zoning and planning to schools. Our Founders understood this was the path to tyranny.”
“We won’t let them export their failures to America’s suburbs,” Trump and Carson wrote. “We will save our cities, from which these terrible policies have come, and we will save our suburbs.”