Stop HUD's Agenda 21-related AFFH Rule

Written by  Tom DeWeese Thursday, 23 June 2016 00:00
HUD AFFH Map Tool showing Milwaukee Area with "Housing Burden" shown in shades of gray and "National Origin" shown by color-coded dots (1 dot = 75 people). HUD AFFH Map Tool showing Milwaukee Area with "Housing Burden" shown in shades of gray and "National Origin" shown by color-coded dots (1 dot = 75 people).

The fight over HUD's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule is growing.

I have been in the fight against Agenda 21 since the beginning — even before its introduction in 1992. For most of these years Americans have ignored the issue, as they didn’t see it affecting them personally. That apathy is now changing. The fight against Agenda 21 is heating up in cities across the nation, beyond anything experienced before. One new twist in the enforcement of Agenda 21 policy is the new Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ruling called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).

AFFH requires communities that apply for HUD grants to strip-search every neighborhood, detailing income level, religion, race, and national origin of every single person living there. HUD has created specific guidelines dictating specific numbers of each for a proper “balance.” If there are any shortages in any of the categories, then the neighborhood is deemed to be “out of balance.” HUD then requires that the community correct the situation. That “correction” requires communities to unnecessarily spend millions of tax dollars.

To impose AFFH, HUD has changed tactics that are catching unaware local officials by surprise. In spite of our warnings that HUD grants came with severe strings attached, local officials have routinely sought and accepted HUD grants, declaring them as “free” money for local development. There was at least a pretense of local control. No more. HUD is now employing a stronger legal enforcement mechanism seldom used before to strictly enforce those attached and hidden strings. The result is social engineering that is leading to the destruction of property values and property rights of neighborhoods. In addition, any local governing body that takes a HUD grant now finds that their ability to govern the community as they were elected to do is basically gone, as HUD bureaucrats dictate policy.

HUD has already filed legal actions against communities such as Westchester County, New York, and Marin County, California, for attempting to stand up to the HUD rules. Meanwhile, Baltimore, Maryland, has been forced to spend $30 million over the next 10 years to build 1,000 low-income homes in affluent neighborhoods. Such threats are growing across the nation.

Meanwhile, in Congress, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) have been trying to add amendments to legislation to defund AFFH. Twice they have presented such amendments, and twice they have been betrayed by Republican leadership. In one case such an amendment by Lee was tabled after it was basically sabotaged by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). However, in 2015 Rep. Gosar had already introduced H.R. 1995, a bill to prohibit HUD from implementing the AFFH rule. This bill has 25 cosponsors and is in a pending status, but needs a lot more support in order to be passed. In the meantime, Lee and Gosar are continuing their attempts to add amendments to various bills to defund AFFH.

There is good news in the AFFH fight for Agenda 21 opponents. Some local elected officials are finally starting to understand the dangers of these rules and the massive overreach by the federal government to enforce them. Now many are seeking ways to fight back and are beginning to reach out to those of us who have led the fight against Agenda 21. They seek help in stopping these policies. This has been a rare occurrence until now.

You should take action by pressuring your local officials to reject calls for new HUD grants. Explain that HUD has changed the rules with the new AFFH rule and that acceptance of such grants will bring an army of federal regulators to the community.

You should also call and email your senators (202-224-3121) and representative (202-225-3121) and demand they support the efforts of Representative Gosar and Senator Lee to prohibit implementation of the AFFH rule with H.R. 1995 or to defund it with amendments to other bills.

(This article was originally published as “Fight Over AFFH Growing” in the July 2016 JBS Bulletin.)

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