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    Obama Admin Moves to Diversify Wealthy Suburbs

    Obama Admin Moves to Diversify Wealthy Suburbs

    This has broader implications

    In July 2013, Obama’s “Department of Housing and Urban Development [created a] regulation broadening the obligation of recipients of federal aid to ‘affirmatively further fair housing‘.”  Translation: in order for cities and states to continue receiving federal aid, they must begin diversification of their wealthier suburbs and neighborhoods by building Section 8 government housing in these areas.

    Stanley Kurtz at The Corner compared the HUD regulation proposal to San Francisco’s “Plan Bay Area” initiative:
    In the face of heated public protest, on July 18, two local agencies in metropolitan San Francisco approved “Plan Bay Area,” a region-wide blueprint designed to control development in the nine-county, 101-town region around San Francisco for the next 30 years. The creation of a region-wide development plan–although it flies in the face of America’s core democratic commitment to local control–is mandated by California’s SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008. The ostensible purpose of this law is to combat global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. That is supposedly why California’s legislature empowered regional planning commissions to override local governments and press development away from suburbs into densely-packed urban areas. In fact, the reduction of greenhouse gases (which Plan Bay Area does little to secure) largely serves as a pretext for undercutting the political and economic independence of California suburbs.

    . . . . A regional plan that blocks traditional suburban development, densifies cities, and urbanizes suburbs on this scale is virtually unprecedented. That’s why the Obama administration awarded the agencies behind Plan Bay Area its second-highest “Sustainable Communities Grant” in 2012. Indeed, the terms of the administration’s grant reinforce the pressure for density. The official rationale behind the federal award is “encouraging connections” between jobs, housing, and transportation. That sounds like a directive to locate new residents–poor and minorities included–in existing prosperous communities.

    In fact, HUD’s new emphasis on “connecting” jobs housing and transportation does more. In practice, bland bureaucratic language about blending jobs, housing, and transportation pressures localities to create Manhattan-style “priority development areas.” The San Francisco case reveals the administration’s broader intentions. Soon HUD and other agencies will begin to press localities directly, rather than through the medium of California’s new regionalist scheme. Replicating Plan Bay Area nationwide is the Obama administration’s goal.
    Fast forward to this week, and the Hill reports, confirming Kurtz’s prescience:

    A final Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule due out this month is aimed at ending decades of deep-rooted segregation around the country.

    The regulations would use grant money as an incentive for communities to build affordable housing in more affluent areas while also taking steps to upgrade poorer areas with better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as part of a gentrification of those communities.“HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a HUD spokeswoman said. “The proposed policy seeks to break down barriers to access to opportunity in communities supported by HUD funds.”

    Watch Megyn Kelly’s segment about this on The Kelly File:

    Over at Hot Air, the concern is torn between dismissive (“ultimate White House trolling”) and offering sage advice:
    If I might humbly offer a bit of advice to the White House, this is the wrong approach. Offering incentives to ship large numbers of people out of impoverished communities and into more prosperous ones doesn’t change the people. It only changes the community. If you want to raise up the standard of living in areas afflicted with poverty, start with some leadership. Empower those working to effect positive change, emphasizing greater focus on the community, the churches and the family. Make the communities safer. Rather than tearing down the police, help law enforcement create an atmosphere where residents feel safe in investing in their homes and opening businesses without fear of being looted. Let them hire more people from the neighborhood. Help the parents feel that their kids are walking to school through a safe neighborhood, not a war zone. The best public empowerment program in the world is still a job. Push struggling communities up from the grass roots rather than shipping them out without addressing the underlying problems. This is likely a generational change and I don’t expect Barack Obama to snap his fingers and make it happen overnight, but he could take the lead and start the process today.
    The problem, of course, is that logic cannot be applied because this is not about helping the impoverished or even about punishing the wealthy.  Kurtz explains:
    The new HUD rule is really about changing the way Americans live. It is part of a broader suite of initiatives designed to block suburban development, press Americans into hyper-dense cities, and force us out of our cars. Government-mandated ethnic and racial diversification plays a role in this scheme, yet the broader goal is forced “economic integration.” The ultimate vision is to make all neighborhoods more or less alike, turning traditional cities into ultra-dense Manhattans, while making suburbs look more like cities do now. In this centrally-planned utopia, steadily increasing numbers will live cheek-by-jowl in “stack and pack” high-rises close to public transportation, while automobiles fall into relative disuse.
    We have a vast nation, yet Obama seems intent on packing us like sardines into centrally-controlled sustainable regional sections in the name of social justice, wealth (and privilege) redistribution, and global warming.

    It will be interesting to see how Americans react to this idea.  I suspect it won’t go over very well.


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    randian | June 14, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    The left as usual gets it wrong. Poverty is not generally a problem of not having nice things. That is merely the surface result. Poverty is a problem of character and intelligence. That is, ghettos are what they are because they’re full of people with low character and intelligence. Giving them a nice house and grocery store will not elevate them. As we have seen with public housing projects, those people will simply destroy what you give them with no thought as to what was paid to give it to them, or any sense of gratitude for it.

    Bruce Hayden | June 15, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I am not progressive enough to understand why they think that large urban areas are “sustainable”. Any more, the big cities build little of value. Food and energy must be imported from the rest of the country. Etc. This time of year, I live somewhere that has its own power generation, as well as food production. In the case of WW III, an asteroid strike, etc, the last place you want to be is in a big dense city – if starvation doesn’t take you, it will likely be disease or violence that does you in.

    Canusee | June 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    This is being implemented in a variety of under-the-radar ways. Read through this survey, that ended yesterday, and was linked to via an email from a local theater who is on the list for funding. Fascinating! Most “appear” to be in downtown areas which sounds all good and such but notice all the “housing” endeavors and where there is not housing development, there are paths and connectors of some some sort from the burbs to the core of a town/city. Many are for “the arts professionals, the creative young, etc.,; all code words for liberal devoted followers of left-wing democrat. Subsidized housing for the activists who will have affordable housing and access to direct routes to those that need to be “activated against” in the suburbs. Noone pushing for these developments really expect them to work; just another money laundering scheme and all these areas will be worse off than they are now.

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