When the Department of Urban Development under the Obama administration implemented a regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in 2015, critics soon began to voice concerns that the rules could effectively destroy U.S. suburbs as they exist today.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is expected to more strictly enforce the provisions, while President Donald Trump has made it clear in a recent tweet that he might end the program altogether, as Breitbart reported.
The president addressed the issue of AFFH regulation seemingly out of the blue on Tuesday, forecasting a dim future for suburban dwellers if his predecessor’s plan is fully realized.
“Having a devastating impact”
“At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas,” Trump tweeted.
He added that Biden “wants to make them MUCH WORSE” with a plan that is unfair for the nation’s homeowners.
“I may END!” the president concluded.
Conservative columnist Stanley Kurtz decried the AFFH rule upon its inception, writing for the National Review in 2015 that it “gives the federal government a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood.”
“A preferred racial and ethnic composition”
He went on to argue at the time that the program would achieve that goal by “imposing a preferred racial and ethnic composition, densifying housing, transportation, and business development in suburb and city alike, and weakening or casting aside the authority of local governments over core responsibilities, from zoning to transportation to education.”
Kurtz revisited the issue in another National Review piece earlier this week, detailing how Biden — with inspiration from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) — would strengthen the AFFH regulation by essentially holding HUD and U.S. Department of Transportation grants hostage unless suburbs abide by each facet of the rule.
In the meantime, the Trump administration has largely declined to enforce the regulations while technically keeping it in place.
As Trump’s recent tweet suggests, however, that might be about to change.
With so much Democratic power centralized within metropolitan areas, it might seem obvious why the party would seek to turn suburbs into mere extensions of their host cities. If Biden wins in November, that dream might become a reality.