The Sinking of the USS HUD
By Edward Acosta
On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The Court found that the Texas Department of Housing was “causing segregated housing patterns to continue by disproportionately allocating tax credits in predominantly black inner-city areas.” 1
In her article, The Obama Administration Launches a War on the Suburbs
, Betsy McCaughey highlights the astounding hauteur HUD is displaying in its attempt to compel luxurious suburban cities to build low-income housing for poorer residents. “The Obama administration is pulling out all the stops to launch a legal and regulatory assault on suburbs nationwide. HUD’s soon-to-be-released regulation, in the works since 2013, will compel affluent suburbs to build more high-density, low-income housing, plus of course sewers, water lines, bus routes and other changes needed to support it. All in the name of housing ‘fairness.’” 2
For decades HUD has been content to oversee equal opportunity housing, meaning, if you work hard and save your money you have an “equal opportunity” to a home as others who do the same. Since a great society never materialized after decades of unprecedented spending, it now seems that HUD is ready to go on the offensive and force “fair” housing on the nation, clearly emboldened by the current administration.
However, with this new agenda, HUD is clearly on a mission to accuse affluent suburbs of racism, solely because minorities don’t have enough money to live in such neighborhoods. The inference is subtle yet entirely ridiculous; that city officials in the nations most affluent neighborhoods went out of their way to create non-inclusive places to live because they hate the poor.
The champion of this offensive against America, the one doing the sinking, is none other than Julián Castro, Secretary of HUD. Picked by the president to lead HUD, the supporters of State controlled populations think he’s peachy, the homeless however, not so much.
My point here is not to vilify Sect. Castro, as by all accounts he is a decent person. However, a case could be made that while his sense of concern is keen, his methods are flawed.
Further evidence of the insolence HUD has displayed under Castro is described in Betsy’s article, “The HUD rule twists the original and laudable intent of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which is to bar discrimination in renting, selling or financing housing. The new rule states that 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 choices viable.” 2
“Affirmatively further” is progressive code for “give the poor what they want because they are poor”. This shift in strategy from pre-Roosevelt legislation “to make housing and home mortgages more affordable” to the post-Roosevelt New Deal delusion “to create strong, sustainable, inclusive
communities” is where we are today.
Common sense will get no help from the (big govt side of the) Supreme Court which ruled in Texas Department of Housing v. The Inclusive Communities Project, that “a disparate-impact claim is ‘cognizable’ under the Fair Housing Act.” In other words, the ruling is another victory for “diversity”. In response to the Supreme Court ruling Secretary Castro said in a written statement, “Unfortunately, too many Americans find their dreams limited by where they come from, and a ZIP code should never determine a child’s future”. “This important step will give local leaders the tools they need to provide all Americans with access to safe, affordable housing in communities that are rich
with opportunity.” I find his choice of words very telling. And it seems to verify the concerns of those who see this HUD ruling as nothing more than an expansion of government powers to redistribute the wealth of hard-working Americans.
Thankfully, Justice Alito articulated the side of reason in his dissent, “Everyone agrees that the FHA punishes intentional discrimination. Treating someone “less favorably than others because of a protected trait” is “‘the most easily understood type of discrimination.’”... Indeed, this classic form of discrimination—called disparate treatment—is the only one prohibited by the Constitution itself … It is obvious that Congress intended the FHA to cover disparate treatment. The question presented here, however, is whether the FHA also punishes ‘practices that are not intended to discriminate but in fact have a disproportionately adverse effect on minorities.’... The answer is equally clear. The FHA does not authorize disparate-impact claims. No such liability was created when the law was enacted in 1968. And nothing has happened since then to change the law’s meaning.”3
Thanks to the Supreme Court the poor can now demand to live in neighborhoods where “the rich” live simply because they are poor. Actually, it is the federal government that can now demand that the poor live in neighborhoods where “the rich” live.
If Congress can’t find a solid “footing”, and stop these regulations soon, there will be no one left to stop HUD.