Some Americans averse to life in a big city might find reason for concern in the recent analysis of National Review writer Stanley Kurtz.
According to his latest piece, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would, if elected, implement a plan essentially abolishing the nation’s suburbs.
Kurtz argues that the former vice president would likely start with the enforcement of regulations included in former President Barack Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) program.
“High-density low-income housing”
According to NPR, the AFFH has been suspended by current U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who has attempted to implement a replacement plan.
In the interim, Kurtz wrote that a version of the program, which he dubbed “AFFH lite,” has been administered. He believes Biden would move to restore it to its original state.
“Once Biden starts to enforce AFFH the way Obama’s administration originally meant it to work, it will be as if America’s suburbs had been swallowed up by the cities they surround,” Kurtz said. “They will lose control of their own zoning and development, they will be pressured into a kind of de facto regional-revenue redistribution, and they will even be forced to start building high-density low-income housing.”
He reasoned that the result would include “the elimination of single-family zoning,” and thus the “basic character” of uniquely American suburbs nationwide.
“At the very moment when the pandemic has made people rethink the advantages of dense urban living, the choice of an alternative will be taken away,” Kurtz warned.
If that were not “bad enough,” he speculated that Biden would follow through on a strategy endorsed by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to establish “little downtowns” in suburbs.
Both the AFFH revamp and the Booker proposal would necessitate the removal of single-family zones in these residential areas, Kurtz reasoned.
“Slowly but surely, suburbs will become helpless satellites of the cities they surround, exactly as progressive urbanists intend,” he concluded.
Conservatives have long argued that the nation’s big cities have become bastions of progressive politics. If Kurtz is correct, Democrats appear to be extending that grip to the more conservative suburbs that surround them.