Monday, 12 August 2013

Obama Seeks to Reshape Neighborhoods With Housing “Diversity”

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The Obama administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is under fire after announcing a proposed executive decree to make American neighborhoods more “diverse.” Under the new HUD policy, dubbed “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” the federal government will gather and track data on “segregation” and “discrimination” across America before deploying a wide range of social-engineering schemes to ensure more “diversity” in U.S. neighborhoods. Some analysts say there is an even broader agenda at work.

While details about the latest anti-constitutional plot remain scarce, news reports and official documents suggest the administration will use a combination of federal bribes and coercion to achieve its aims. The goal, in essence, is to force state and local governments into submission using a “carrot and stick” approach. Among the many federal targets in enforcing centrally planned diversity: local zoning regulations, public transportation, land-use policies, government housing agencies, and more.

"Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child, even her lifespan, is determined by the zip code she grows up in. This is simply wrong,” claimed HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, a strong advocate of using federal power to create “Sustainable Communities,” while announcing the controversial diversity plan at the NAACP convention last month. “Make no mistake: this is a big deal. With the HUD budget alone, we are talking about billions of dollars.”

Praising the NAACP and blasting the House GOP’s proposed budget, Donovan urged more activism “from the courts to the streets” in order to achieve what he called “progress” — bigger and more expensive federal programs on everything from healthcare and education to housing. Donovan boasted about the number of people who were awarded damages due to “housing discrimination” — some 25,000 — and promised more to come. He also called on convention attendees to continue lobbying Congress to give more money and power to the administration as it works to transform America.  

“This proposed rule represents a 21st century approach to fair housing, a step forward to ensuring that every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of — where they have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in life,” Donovan continued. “For the first time ever, HUD will provide data for every neighborhood in the country, detailing the access African American, Latino, Asian, and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class."

According to the administration’s summary of its latest proposed “rule,” which has already been entered into the Federal Register, there are four primary goals behind the effort. The first one is “improved integrated living patterns” and “overcoming historic patterns of segregation.” Next is “reducing racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty,” followed by “reducing disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets such as education, transit access, and employment.” Finally, HUD’s fourth objective is “responding to disproportionate housing needs by protected class.”

To achieve its utopian vision — critics say it is more of Obama’s promised agenda to “fundamentally transform” the country — the administration plans to gather vast amounts of data on American housing patterns. The information will be provided to “participants”: virtually every entity receiving federal taxpayer money via HUD, including state and local governments. Armed with the data, authorities would then have to work toward making the administration’s agenda a reality by changing policies as required. 

Citing the 1968 Civil Rights Act and the “Fair Housing Act” as the purported authority to begin its massive “diversity” program, the administration also outlined how state and local authorities would be forced to obey. The strings-attached federal funding schemes to be used as leverage include “Community Development Block Grants,” HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Solutions Grants, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS. Public housing agencies are also “required” to “affirmatively further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act,” HUD said about its rule. 

“To better facilitate this obligation, as well as address issues raised by the Government Accountability Office, HUD proposes an improved structure and process whereby HUD would provide these program participants with guidance, data, and an assessment template from which they would complete an assessment of fair housing (the AFH),” the rule summary explains. “This assessment would then link to Consolidated Plans, PHA Plans, and Capital Fund Plans, meaningfully informing resulting investments and related policies to affirmatively further fair housing.”

Exactly how the administration’s mandatory diversity plot will work has not yet been officially explained. However, analysts suspect that unconstitutional federal grants handed out to state and local authorities will be awarded or withheld based on obedience to the administration’s diversity decrees. Some commentators are even expecting to see a racist and collectivist racial-quota system rolled out to ensure that sufficient numbers of minorities are being moved to predominantly white neighborhoods. It is not yet clear if or how whites will be moved into minority-dominated areas.   

While the establishment media has largely refused to cover Obama’s neighborhood “diversity” scheming, critics are speaking out — especially in the conservative media and among market-oriented analysts. On right-of-center talk shows and certain publications, for example, opponents have been lambasting the agenda as an assault on everything from free choice and the market to suburbia, cars, and even local governance.

"This is just the latest of a series of attempts by HUD to social engineer the American people," American Enterprise Institute Fellow Ed Pinto, an expert on housing policy, told Fox News. "It started with public housing and urban renewal, which failed spectacularly back in the 50's and 60's. They tried it again in the 90's when they wanted to transform house finance, do away with down payments, and the result was millions of foreclosures and financial collapse.”

Other critics said one of the most important yet subtle elements of the administration’s plan is actually advancing “regionalism” — stopping suburban development using “regional” authorities while packing Americans into tiny apartments in “sustainable” mega-cities. Of course, following the deeply controversial vision laid out in the United Nations’ Agenda 21 sustainable development scheme, that trend is already accelerating across America and worldwide. Instead of decisions being made at the local level, meanwhile, authority will gradually gravitate toward unaccountable “regional” entities, another process that has been ramped up in recent years.

In the brief “notice” about its new decree, HUD says the scheme “also facilitates regional AFHs that cover regions that need not be contiguous and may even cross state boundaries.” Already, major HUD grants are being awarded to “regional” authorities that help build “sustainable” cities by packing everyone together near public transportation, jobs, and services. Under the latest measures, those trends are expected to accelerate. Other taxpayer “grant” funds are being funneled to radical front groups that support the agenda.

The U.S. Constitution, of course, provides no federal authority whatsoever to interfere in the housing market — much less for centrally planned “diversity” programs aimed at subverting local governance and pushing “sustainable development.” Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives could simply defund HUD and solve the problem. However, with virtually no attention from the establishment press, it will take a major grassroots outcry to stop the administration from enforcing its draconian plans on the nation. The consequences of doing nothing will be felt for generations to come.     
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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