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Biden Wages War On Suburbia

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The housing policies of Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden would lead to American suburbs flooding with high-density housing and crime, while politically-connected developers profit.

It’s straight out of President Obama’s playbook, with Biden vowing to reinstate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) if elected.

The goal of AFFH was to “desegregate” the suburbs – marked by single-family homes, parks, and playgrounds – by forcing their middle- and working-class communities to accept massive low-income residential buildings. Many suburbs, however, are already diverse and have substantial minority populations.

But no matter.

“The federal government must crush systemic racism!” — or at least that’s how the Obama administration tried to sell this federal takeover to the public.

To be sure, the real motivation behind AFFH had less to do with addressing racial inequality and more to do with appeasing politically-connected developers.

And Democratic politicians, desperately needing an ever-increasing tax base to sustain their big-government cronyism, were more than happy to play along. By expelling lower-income people out of cities to the suburbs, the developers and the politicians would kill two birds with one UHaul.

They would literally “remove” the problem of inner-city crime and violence while increasing property values through the creation of the modern metropolitan dreamscape comprised of luxury apartment buildings, expensive restaurants, and high-end retail.

Could there be a more stunning example of the rank duplicitousness of neoliberalism — a faux appeal to racial inequality in order to mask the advancement of the interests of the predominantly, white business class?

No.

Thankfully, President Trump and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson recently gutted AFFH before it did too much damage to the country’s single-family neighborhoods that most – rightfully – associate with the American Dream.

But Joe Biden has pledged to reinstate the rule and enforce it by restricting federal funding to communities that refuse to comply per his platform:

“…Biden will implement the Obama-Biden Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule requiring communities receiving certain federal funding to proactively examine housing patterns and identify and address policies that have a discriminatory effect. The Trump Administration suspended this rule in 2018.”

If the Democrats capture the White House in a few weeks, President Joe will force urbanization – meaning high-density housing and racial quotas – on American suburbs by holding much-needed HUD grants hostage.

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If a community does not meet the government’s preferred (and capricious) composition involving race, ethnicity, class, English-language proficiency, and a whole host of other categories, they would be required to amend local zoning ordinances, among other things.

In short, obey the federal mandate, or lose all federal funding.

It’s the final stamping out of property ownership, local government, subsidiarity, and federalism. Not even local zoning decisions would be controlled locally – by the people who actually live in the localities.

Instead, they’d be micromanaged from hundreds or even thousands of miles away by an unelected, unaccountable suit behind a desk in D.C., who has never even heard of your town.

So who is really harmed if a President Biden reinstates Obama’s AFFH rule and enforces it throughout his administrative agencies?

Certainly, at least in part, the poor folks being pushed out of the cities.

For example, in Chicago, Democratic politicians bussed low-income residents out of the cities to places where they had no connections, even as far away as Dubuque, Iowa. This was done so Mayor Rahm Emanuel could hand out tax breaks to his developer pals, who purchased the historically-distressed, emptied land on the cheap in order to build a new shiny urban utopia for upper-middle-class, over-educated progressives.

But AFFH would also be disastrous for suburban families trying to attain the American Dream, many of whom are racial minorities, and all of whom would like to live in kid-friendly communities with low crime rates and decent public schools.

More than half of all Americans live in the suburbs, and of that share, nearly 35 percent are minorities. The idea that these hard-working people should have their zoning protections for single-family homes abolished in order to literally pave the way for high-density commercial buildings and low-income housing is terrifying.

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Imagine the block of the oldest homes in your neighborhood. Now imagine them being leveled for the purpose of putting in high-density, low-income housing because the federal government has dictated that your neighborhood can no longer be made by you and your neighbors.

How might this change the nature of your neighborhood? Will crime go up or down? Will schools improve or get worse? Will there be more or less drugs? Will you feel more or less safe walking down your neighborhood sidewalk when you have to look out for hypodermic needles?

If you think this is scaremongering, it’s not.

This is what President Obama intended and what we would have gotten under a President Clinton. And this is precisely what America will get if Joe Biden wins in November.

Under the Biden plan, suburbs would be crushed by federal central planning commissions and bureaucrats who treat individuals and families as interchangeable widgets, to be picked up and thrown down wherever without regard to community bonds and character. Everywhere must become a mini-city, and if you’d rather have a house with a yard for your kids to play in, that’s because you must be (a) an upper-class oppressor and (b) a racist.

Trump was right to gut AFFH and preserve the American Dream for millions of working-class Americans across the nation.

The suburbs must not be turned into fodder for elitist technocrats desperate to push their destructive social-engineering and social justice agenda.


Jon Schweppe

Jon Schweppe is the Director of Government Affairs for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe