Affordable Housing

Trump's New Fair Housing Rule Prioritizes Toxic Culture War Politics Over Deregulation

The president has ditched a promising, free market-influenced revamp of Obama-era fair housing regulations in favor of a legally dubious new rule that's heavy on local control.

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President Donald Trump's recent comments about saving the suburbs from new development appear to be more than just talk. A new fair housing rule released by the Trump administration this week prioritizes local control of housing policy in place of federal interventions to address the legacy of segregation (which progressives prefer) or incentivizing the deregulation of housing construction, which his own administration proposed earlier this year.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its new Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice rule, which establishes the standards jurisdictions receiving HUD grants have to meet in order to satisfy the 1968 Fair Housing Act's requirement that federal housing programs be administered in a way that "affirmatively furthers fair housing."

The new rule, which goes into effect in 30 days, essentially guts the 2015 Obama-era affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) rule that has long been derided by conservatives as an example of federal bureaucratic overreach, and which the Trump administration has been trying to unwind for the past two years.

"We are tearing down the Obama Administration's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule which was an overreach of unelected Washington bureaucrats into local communities," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Twitter. "The AFFH rule was a ruse for social engineering under the guise of desegregation, essentially turning [HUD] into a national zoning board."

The new rule's release comes on the heels of numerous attacks by Trump on the old AFFH rule as a federal assault on the suburbs, and specifically single-family zoning; an assault the president warns that would only be escalated by a Joe Biden Administration.

Democrats' reimposition of the old AFFH rule would "eliminate single-family zoning, bringing who knows into your suburbs, so your communities will be unsafe and your housing values will go down," said Trump at an internet town hall event, reports The Washington Post.

"The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article. Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!" said Trump yesterday in a tweet that linked to a New York Post op-ed warning about the pernicious effects of the Obama AFFH rule.

The 2015 regulation required HUD grant recipientswhich includes states, cities, counties, and public housing authoritiesto complete lengthy, 92-question assessments that required them to collect data and report on everything from labor market outcomes to educational quality and access to public transportation. Jurisdictions that failed to complete their assessments to HUD's satisfaction were required to do them again.

In place of those requirements, the new rule published by the Trump administration only requires that recipients of federal housing funds take some action "rationally related to promoting fair housing." In addition, the rule establishes a rather broad definition of fair housing that includes not only the absence of discrimination, but also that housing is affordable, "decent, safe, and sanitary."

So long as jurisdictions take any action that can be rationally tied to one of those goals, Trump's HUD will consider them in compliance with the Fair Housing Act.

Both the very limited requirements of this new regulation and the rhetoric Trump has used to sell it have sparked a fierce reaction from progressive fair housing advocates, who argue that the federal government is essentially giving a green light for localities to discriminate.

"This is not a fair housing rule," says Debby Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance. "What [Trump] is doing here is strictly political. It's about revving up his base and fanning the flames of racial division in this country in advance of the election."

The original purpose of inserting language about "affirmatively furthering fair housing" in the Fair Housing Act was to ensure that "regardless of where people live, they have access to the kinds of things we all need to flourish," Goldberg tells Reason, listing "healthy grocery stores, good transportation, well-performing schools, clean air, clean water, etc. things that are really connected to opportunity."

The reporting requirements in the 2015 AFFH rule gave HUD and HUD grantees the information they needed to further this expansive vision of fair housing, she says, arguing that Trump's replacement rule "takes the country backwards to a time when discrimination is not only rife, but legal."

But the administration's new rule has drawn the ire of not just progressive proponents of the old AFFH regulation, but also conservative critics of the Obama-era rule who had been working to replace it with something that managed to be both deregulatory while still making a good faith effort to enforce the Fair Housing Act.

"The new rule has proved Donald Trump's critics right by gutting AFFH," says Michael Hendrix of the Manhattan Institute. "What the Trump administration is pitching as a deregulatory measure actually reinforces local regulatory burdens."

Hendrix says there's a factional dispute both within the White House and the wider conservative movement over whether to prioritize local control, which empowers homeowners and local governments to maintain policies like single-family zoning, minimum lot-sizes, and parking requirements, or deregulation, which would allow for denser housing development, more mixed-use zoning, and other policies likely to drive down housing prices by increasing the supply of housing stock.

The Trump administration's efforts to reform the Obama-era AFFH rule was initiated and dominated by the latter camp, he says.

When Carson announced that the Trump administration would be rescinding and reissuing the AFFH rule, he justified it by saying that the new rule would use federal housing funding to incentivize local governments to repeal restrictions they have on housing construction.

"I want to encourage the development of mixed-income multifamily dwellings all over the place," Carson told The Wall Street Journal in 2018. "I would incentivize people who really would like to get a nice juicy government grant" to reform their zoning codes.

In January 2020, HUD released the text of a proposed replacement rule that would require recipients of HUD funds to report on more narrow measures of housing affordability and quality, and then propose three concrete steps for improving those measures. Jurisdictions that showed improvement on these metrics over time could be rewarded with additional grant money.

Progressive defenders of the old AFFH considered the January HUD rule to be much too narrow, focusing on housing affordability at the expense of all the other components of fair housing. The NFHA, alongside other fair housing groups, launched an (ultimately unsuccessful) lawsuit against HUD in 2018 over its rollback of the Obama-era rules.

Hendrix counters these progressive critics by arguing that the January 2020 rule's focus on housing affordability actually zeros in on the most important component of fair housing. By becoming more affordable, communities become more accessible to people regardless of their race, national origin, or ability; all classes protected by the Fair Housing Act.

Because local land use regulations are the primary drivers of high housing costs, local governments would ultimately have to loosen said land-use regulations if they wanted to make progress on the metrics the January 2020 HUD rule would be focusing on, he says.

That gave the January rule a deregulatory character. Its more narrow focus also made it more enforceable, says Salim Furth, a housing policy researcher at George Mason University's Mercatus Center.

"If you take this extremely broad view of furthering [fair housing], then it's not clear how HUD is supposed to test" whether grantees are actually making progress on their fair housing obligations, says Furth.

By asserting that everything is related to fair housing, Furth says the old AFFH rule meant that nearly all jurisdictions would fall short of their obligations under the Fair Housing Act in some way. The Trump administration's new rule ironically leans on this same expansive view of fair housing to say that practically any action jurisdictions take satisfies their mandate to further fair housing.

Neither helps HUD identify bad actors, or reward good ones, says Furth, telling Reason that "you ultimately have to draw some lines if you are going to have a test that doesn't make everyone guilty or everyone innocent."

The January HUD rule's more narrow focus on affordability did just that, he says. But the very fact that the January 2020 rule would actually make the Fair Housing Act enforceable in a reasonable way is ultimately what doomed it with certain parties on the right end of the spectrum.

Since it was first proposed, the January 2020 AFFH-replacement rule attracted heated criticism from some conservatives who viewed it as an attack on local government's control of land use policy and suburban single-family zoning policies in particular.

"All the administration's proposed HUD rule does is change the AFFH requirement from a left-wing social engineering experiment to a right-wing attack on local control," wrote Jordan Bloom in The Daily Caller in February.

Then at the beginning of July, National Review published an article by Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center which warned ominously that Joe Biden and Democrats wanted to use the AFFH to "abolish the suburbs."

"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 wrote. Suburban communities, he continues, "will even be forced to start building high-density low-income housing. The latter, of course, will require the elimination of single-family zoning. With that, the basic character of the suburbs will disappear."

That article was later retweeted by Trump, who has since been seemingly convinced that casting himself as a defender of suburbs and suburban-style low-density zoning is a winning campaign issue. It nestles neatly in his broader strategy of painting Democrats as wanting to visit urban dysfunction on orderly and tidy conservative communities.

The text of the Trump administration's new rule makes it explicit that it is rejecting both the old Obama-era AFFH rule, as well as the deregulatory rule HUD put forward in January.

"That proposed rule took steps to reduce federal control of local housing decisions and lessen the burden of data requirements imposed on local governments," it reads. "However, when the President reviewed the proposed rule, he expressed concern that the HUD approach did not go far enough on either prong. For example, grantee jurisdictions were still presented with a HUD list of 'inherent barriers' to overcome, 12 of which directly interfered with local land development decisions."

The new rule is a victory for local control-supporting conservatives. It could well prove a pyrrhic one.

The administration is asserting that because the new rule involves federal grants, and because it has already been the subject of so much attention, it can skip the normal notice-and-comment requirements normally mandated by the Administrative Procedure Acts.

"They are doing it by a process I can only call executive fiat. It is just a complete end-run around the rulemaking process. There's no notice-and-comment. it's just put out as a final rule," says Goldberg.

That could make the new Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice rule vulnerable to legal challenges on procedural grounds alone, she says. Failure to properly follow the APA is partially what doomed Trump's attempt to rescind Obama's DACA order.

Hendrix says that both the president's comments defending the rule, and the text of the rule itself make it vulnerable to legal challenges on substantive grounds as well.

"When Trump himself said, and this rule says, this is not about fair housing, this is about defending the suburbs, I think a court could rightfully determine you are missing the point of the Fair Housing Act," Hendrix says.

Fair housing groups are already asserting that the rule will not pass legal muster. Goldberg says that while its too early to say whether the NFHA will take legal action, all options are on the table.

Furth cautions that we shouldn't overinterpret the impact of the Obama-era AFFH rule.

"People on the right and on the left are both willing to say the Obama AFFH was this big power thing, and it either powerful and scary or powerful and just," he says. "They both have an interest in making it appear more powerful than what it is."

But by reversing course on its own proposed rule, the Trump administration has passed on an opportunity to impose a fair housing rule that would do a better job of fulfilling the purpose of the fair housing act, while also incentivizing freer markets in land use across the country.

It's a symbolic defeat for those who had hoped that Trump's deregulatory promises and the explicitly YIMBY-inflected rhetoric coming from administration officials would prevail over his toxic culture war politics.

NEXT: Judge’s Ruling Means Foie Gras Is Back in California

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  2. “ The president has ditched a promising, free market-influenced revamp of Obama-era fair housing regulations in favor of a legally dubious new rule that’s heavy on local control.”

    It’s dubious for a municipality to have control over itself? This shit for brains, Christian Britschgi, is lamenting the fact that the feds won’t be interfering
    in areas it has no business in. Hey Goth Fonzie, if you’re reading this, what the fuck kind of operation are you running here? This is what libertarian Reason is about? What a joke this place has become. Let the flame wars begin.

    1. It’s dubious for any government to claim substantial control over what you can do with your own property – doesn’t matter if it’s local government or national government. Zoning laws and other local regulations are the primary factors that make housing scarce and unaffordable.

      Reason’s position is fully libertarian here – private property owners are the only ones who should have a say in what they do with their property.

      1. Why should we have state and city governments, if not to help resolve the conflicts at a local level? We have already seen just what happens when you invest too much power in the federal government. They give people like Obama the ability to make sweeping, un-libertarian changes to the property rights of the entire country.

        It is a fact that neighbors will need to mediate disputes over adjacent properties. If I build a house, I may have a problem with the neighbor putting a strip club next door. The libertarian solution is not some mandate from the federal government 2000 miles a way, but for the neighbors to enter into covenants and other agreements to resolve their differences.

        The Federal Government is too often seen as a short cut to avoid going through the hard work at the local level. This is the reason why so many people spend hours arguing about the statements of a congress critter from another state, but have no idea who their local city council-person is.

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      2. Reason’s position is fully libertarian here – private property owners are the only ones who should have a say in what they do with their property.

        I read the article, and it said nothing even approximating this.

        1. I read the article too, and fully agree – it said nothing even approximating this.

    2. Old school libertarians and conservatives would call for rolling back HUD along with the rest of “The Great Society” programs while Reason seeks a merger with the Niskanen Center.

      Free Mind and Free Markets

      Central Planning Uber Alles !

      1. There was an article in the last year or so about judicial activism, in which Reason came out in favor, they just wanted the outcomes to be “libertarian”.

        It’s pointless to expect Reason to make sense about government policy, because they fundamentally don’t believe in government. They just want the outcomes they want, by any means necessary. The broader the imposition of their policy preferences, the better.

        1. Reason continuously prints articles in favor of expanding the wholesale invasion of the world’s poor, low-IQ, low agency detritus, which is expanding and will continue to expand government agencies, government employees, government spending, and government programs.
          But they think that’s ‘libertarian’.

    3. Libertarians for Central Planning and Against Local Control

      But he wants Private Police Forces…..

    4. “It’s dubious for a municipality to have control over itself?”

      Reason is defacto just as centralizing as the Left. Not recognizing *any* government as legitimate, they don’t worry about what is or is not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. Like the Left, they just want their deontological preferences to be imposed as The Good everywhere. Unlike the Left, their preferences are whatever maximizes corporate wealth and power.

    5. I tend to agree.

      The article seems very confusing in defending federal control and dismissing local control as the problem.

    6. Coming to a suburb of yours very soon: https://youtu.be/8FV_FGt-ryI

  3. For most Americans their home is by far the biggest investment they have. Protecting the value of their property is often on their minds, and zoning laws reflect this. In the interest of ‘fairness’ many legislators have no issue with wiping out a fair percentage of that value if it means votes for them in the fall, especially if the monetary losses come from those unlikely to vote for them anyway, especially if their congressional district crosses municipal lines.
    Local control means that those potential losses will come to the voters in local elections, with clear consequences to those who made those losses possible.

    1. And an HOA is for what? The government really has no business trying to be an HOA or a Labor Union or a Bank or a Landlord or a crook. Government is to ensure individual justice; that is it.

    2. People really shouldn’t look at it as an investment, especially after Kelo and 2008.

      1. “People really shouldn’t look at it as an investment, especially after Kelo and 2008.”

        Well you’re partially correct but also partially wrong. At the very least a home offsets the cost of a rental of comparable quality. Thus it provides financial stability and return on investment in the equity. However, people often treat it as a piggy bank drawing down their equity in various ways. Then they’ve lost that financial stability.

        At the end of the day, homes have a pretty good ROI, however, it’s often not as high as local housing inflation over the medium term. It’s still almost always positive in the long term 20+ years, but it can be quite erratic in the 5 to 10 year time frame.

        1. I often wonder if the good ROI on homes isn’t but a side-effect of gov printing fiat money.

          They can print paper but they can’t print houses :)… As Ron Paul pointed out once; gasoline today costs just as much as it did in the 1920’s with a ‘gold’ coin. The government can’t print value so I believe a lot of the increase in owning a resource instead of USD (savings) is in the protection if offers from government theft by inflation.

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  4. Jeezus, this fucking article

    1. THANK YOU ever so much for your fact-filled, deeply moving comments!!!

      1. Any time, Gerbil Boy

      2. Here’s some more information you can use – GFY

      3. Squ, why don’t you drive that point home by pouring gasoline all over yourself and then setting yourself on fire.

  5. It is rather rich that after a week of Reason chiding Trump for “abandoning federalism” in his deployment of federal agents to Portland, they drop this article in the wee hours of the weekend morning.

    Without a doubt, local control of zoning laws can lead to disasters where existing owners use un-libertarian rules and regulations to interfere in the ability of others to develop their personal property. In fact, this phenomenon alone probably does more to drive young adults into the arms of socialism than any university. Kids see all these old people- conservatives AND liberals- who “got theirs” 20 years ago and use their property rights to justify broad controls over others’ property rights. This leads to skepticism of property rights overall as some tool of opression.

    Nevertheless, it is not the Federal Governments’ job to solve this. In fact “this” is a problem only in some cities around the country. If the Federal Government wanted to help here, they would do things like review all the federal land that is held off the market for development. In Orange County, California, a vast tract of land that used to be El Toro Marine Base is now being developed into schools, houses and townhouses. While I wish there was more mixed use and multi family, the simple fact is that it is better than nothing.

    1. It is rather rich that after a week of Reason chiding Trump for “abandoning federalism” in his deployment of federal agents to Portland, they drop this article in the wee hours of the weekend morning.

      This.

      “IT’S SO BAD WHEN THE FEDS INTERFERE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT! (Except when it’s things we approve of the feds interfering with.)”

      An actual libertarian take (which is therefore unlikely to ever appear here outside the comments): “Unfortunately, both of these approaches are complete bullshit. The correct solution is to stop sending federal funds for housing development.”

      1. We would certainly need much less federally subsidized housing if the big cities would abandon their destructive nanny policies like rent control, strict zoning, extortionist permitting processes, etc.

        The answer to housing bubbles and skyrocketting prices and rents is to allow people to build more housing.

        1. The reason this doesn’t happen is because property owners don’t want it to happen. If your $300k house in the city has ballooned to $1.5 million, you certainly don’t want developers building 50k new million dollar houses in your area. Suddenly your 70 year old $1.5 million house won’t look so attractive, and the price will drop precipitously.

          New York is the classic example. If they allowed development to proceed unimpeded, the housing market would collapse. All those 100 year old buildings with $5,000 per month one room apartments would be torn down and replaced with much bigger, nicer buildings. Rents would plummet in old buildings as a surplus of new buildings arises.

          Which is exactly why you don’t see this happen. People who own dumpy old Manhattan apartments that they paid a million dollars for don’t want to see the thing rendered nearly worthless by competition from tens of thousands of nicer units.

          1. I do not dispute any of the facts you state here. I agree that this is a significant motivator for the results we see.

            But I can only presume that the number of people who live in those overpriced apartments vastly outnumber the people who own the buildings they are in. It should be fairly trivial for them to vote in people who will change those laws and regulations to allow more development, if they’d make the effort.

            If they’re not going to bother, then I see little reason to interfere with their local priorities to impose such changes at the federal level. I suspect that very few people have ever had a gun trained on them to force them to live in Manhattan, San Francisco, Seattle, or any of these other (in my opinion) vastly overpriced housing markets. 😉 If they make the choice to stay there anyway, and not work to change the situation on their own, well, that’s their choice.

          2. A great description of how anti-free-market socialistic law is used to create unfair crony environments (i.e. Crony Socialism). To think the people of the left believe this type of ‘cronyism’ is going to make things fair is bafflingly idiotic.

    2. Yeah, that damned zoning that is forced down our throats. What free-thinking person could possibly want to buy property in a neighborhood that has voluntary constraints on types of development? I mean, come on, zoning is just an oppressive cis-hetero patriarchy, like gender.

      1. What free-thinking person could possibly want to buy property in a neighborhood that has voluntary constraints on types of development?

        There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to buy property in a neighborhood that has voluntary constraints on types of development. But zoning laws are imposed at the municipal, county, and even state level.

        I have owned two houses in my lifetime. I was completely unwilling to own houses in places that had additionally restrictive covenants. And so, I didn’t even look at properties for sale that had them.

        But it’s impossible to get out from under the thumb of zoning laws. I realize that I’m proposing solutions that aren’t even on the radar for most of the people of the country, but this is a notionally libertarian website, so I’m hoping people will at least take a moment to consider the idea. What if we got rid of the vast majority of zoning laws, and actually turned that sort of choice over to the neighborhoods?

        1. I see most zoning as justified as long as it does not change. Leaving the choice to current residents, as you suggest, is a potential disaster for some owners. Buying into existing zoning is indeed voluntary. Having the zoning changed from around (and under) an owner, not so much. And obviously, selling and moving a place of residence is harder than most other consumer choices.

          I get the preference for little or no zoning or other controls. People can buy land outside of zoning limits. And I also get that such land is now harder to find. But that is part of the problem with increasing zoning, and zoning changes.

          1. Having the zoning changed from around (and under) an owner, not so much.

            Isn’t that what this article is about, at some level, only at the federal level instead of a neighborhood one?

            Also, I realize I wasn’t very specific in my earlier comment, but I’m not talking about a shift from R-1 to M-2 zoning. But if 75% of the local HOA formed in the wake of shifting paradigms wants to allow a person who owns an R-1 lot with a single family house on it to build an R-2 duplex there, should they choose, I don’t see this as unutterably destructive.

            People can buy land outside of zoning limits.

            Not in states with state level zoning.

        2. The first step is in understanding that this is a local problem.

          When people say “The problem is that people…” no. Some people do this. Not all. There are towns, counties and states with less zoning requirements, and there are places that are horrible. If you want craziness, go look at England’s zoning laws.

          This is largely a problem at the Federal level, because some of the biggest command and control housing markets are places like Washington DC and New York, and those cities drive the news cycle.

          If Reason should be doing anything, it is advocating that local communities free up their zoning laws, not advocating that a bloated federal government over-ride them.

      2. I can at least understand wanting broad brush zoning like this is residential and it would suck to have a factory zone directly next door that allowed pig rendering.

        But zoning laws aren’t broad brush. They are ridiculous in their infinitesimal control over every aspect of what is supposed to be YOUR property. And we definitely don’t need the jack offs in Washington DC dictating what those rules should be.

        1. This is part of what I was trying to go for with my commentary.

    3. New postmodernist Reason will of course flip the rationalizations for their preferred outcomes on a dime, because logical consistency is a social construct of the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy used to oppress marginalized peoples.

  6. You people can’t stop with the Orange Man Bad stuff even when Trump is deregulating and returning control to local people. His actions are as libertarian as any President in 100 years and all you can do is complain.

    You don’t care about liberty. You care about complaining.

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    2. A decade ago could you have imagined a libertarian magazine bitching about deregulation and federalism just because the guy doing it isn’t popular with their clique… ;_;

      1. Yes. They’ve always been mostly poseurs

      2. A decade ago, yes. Two decades, no.

    3. Except if you actually read the article, Trump explicitly chose the option that was NOT deregulatory and instead chose the one that he could use as a tool of demagoguery.

      You know, there are times when Orange Man really is bad.

      1. He chose the option that was as deregulatory as would fly politically. Better the slice of bread you can get than the loaf you can’t.

        1. Given the massive forces arrayed against him, it’s impressive he can get anything done.

  7. Reason: we love federalism and local control get federal police out of Portland!

    Reason: we hate federalism and local control get the federal government involved in housing regulations!

    1. WHERE in the above article do you find anything even approaching, the writer advocating getting “…the federal government (more) involved in housing regulations”?

      Strawman much?

      1. The entire article bemoans the fact that the new regulation relies too much on local control.

        There is a good argument to be made that obliterating the market constraints that have proliferated in blue areas would increase access to housing across all groups.

        But that is definitely not a federalist argument.

        1. The article quotes other people (not the writer) from both left and right.

          Then the Reason writer has a FEW editorial comments at the very-very end, which in my opinion are mealy-mouthed and fence-straddling (not very specific). But I challenge ANY reader, to pull out a quote from the above, of the writer (not the writer quoting someone else) bemoaning the idea of local control, and having the feds BUTT OUT, for the most part!

          Writer’s editorial comments fairly clearly indicate the following to be desirable: “…while also incentivizing freer markets in land use across the country.”

          I agree, blue areas and their micro-managing SUCK and HURT all but the rich and already established!

          1. Challenge accepted.

            The president has ditched a promising, free market-influenced revamp of Obama-era fair housing regulations in favor of a legally dubious new rule that’s heavy on local control.

            1. OK, I stand corrected… Didn’t notice that in the up-front blurb. I agree that’s a pretty crappy thing to say if one favors local control. I favor local control… If blue areas want to micro-manage the shit out of “their” lands, let them learn the hard way!

              1. If blue areas want to micro-manage the shit out of “their” lands, let them learn the hard way!

                I agree completely.

                I have a lot of friends in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like a fair bit of the local scene there. (Well, OK, the food and the music.) I find the housing prices obscene. My solution: I don’t live there. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

              2. I get the feeling that Christian didn’t write the headline/lede, because I got the same sense that the article didn’t live up to that initial sentence. But I complained the same, nevertheless. 🙂

              3. “SQRLSY One
                July.25.2020 at 11:36 am
                OK, I stand corrected”

                Yeah, that’s because you’re fucking stupid clown.

                1. Libertarians for identity theft!

                  Tulpa-asshole at work… Notice hair-space character at far left edge of “ RabbiHarveyWeinstein”

                  1. Note that you were wrong and also tell people you eat shit.

                    Cry more now idiot.

                  2. “Libertarians for identity theft!”

                    So your stupid fucking ass didn’t notice it was HARVEY WEINSTEIN you fucking moron. Your idiot self apparently got blinkered again.

                    God dammit how are you this fucking dumb.

                    1. LOL no he didn’t notice because he’s a fucking retard.

                      He’s so thrown off by being mocked for eating shit that he own goals again lolol

                2. He literally offered a mea culpa. And then the conversation moved on. You guys shit up this site all week long. Can you at least take a break for one day?

                  1. Fuck him and you and his mea culpa. Your sockpuppeting ass can live through a fucking grease fire.

                  2. Aren’t you the blithering retard who was totally wrong about the National Guard desegregating schools?

                    Yeah. You were. So maybe you can take your own advice and stop shitting up threads with your stupidity.

                  3. It would appear not.

              4. “Ok, I stand corrected…”

                Honest apology. That’s why I’ve always liked you SQRLSY One. I don’t agree with you on a lot but I’ve always enjoyed your good hearted attitude and quirky posts. You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

                1. No, he’s not.

      2. You are correct only insofar as the proper word would have been “keep” instead of “get”. But you lose credit there by inserting the word “more” into Art’s statement. It’s super ironic to lament him engaging in strawman when you literally changed his words.

        Large portions of article complain about returning to local control, and is therefore advocating for staying with federal control.

      3. “ The president has ditched a promising, free market-influenced revamp of Obama-era fair housing regulations in favor of a legally dubious new rule that’s heavy on local control.”

    2. The libertarian take is whatever gets libertarian principles accepted. If that means local control, so be it. If that means feds come in, so be that.

  8. “that recipients of federal housing funds take some action “rationally related …”
    Expecting people who receive free money to be rational with it is a rather optimistic view of things

  9. So… let’s have the perfect be the enemy of the good?

    Less federal intervention is bad?

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  11. Can Trump do anything without demagoging the shit out of it?

    “The Democrats are coming fer yer wimmin! Batten down the hatches!”

    1. Poitician, so… no?

      But it’s not like anyone playing that game doesn’t do the same.

      “The Republicans are going to reimpose segregation! Gather your torches and pitchforks!”

      1. That would be impose. Only the Donkeys can RE-impose since they have done it before.

        1. Yeah, but you don’t expect the D’s to admit that, do you?

    2. You can’t, why should he?

    3. I know, it’s much worse than telling a bunch of black voters that his opponent was gonna put them back in chains. Congrats, did you just discover politics?

      1. Here is a decent discussion on Biden’s “chains” comment.

        https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/joe-biden-put-yall-back-in-chains/

        1. So, yes, he did say and mean that.

  12. “This is not a fair housing rule,” says Debby Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance. “What [Trump] is doing here is strictly political. It’s about revving up his base and fanning the flames of racial division in this country in advance of the election.”

    The original purpose of inserting language about “affirmatively furthering fair housing” in the Fair Housing Act was to ensure that “regardless of where people live, they have access to the kinds of things we all need to flourish,” Goldberg tells Reason, listing “healthy grocery stores, good transportation, well-performing schools, clean air, clean water, etc. things that are really connected to opportunity.”

    First of all, Goldberg is a parasite sucking off the government teat of “community activism” which is highly remunerative for the do-well-by-doing-good political class. Secondly, and when the government doesn’t deliver on the promise of free shit we all need to flourish, you know goddamn well there’s a disparate impact lawsuit waiting to happen.

    Which is what the Obama rule was all about – opening up the suburbs to the free shit brigades. They want free housing, free public transit, free schooling, free jobs and they don’t want the free shit they’re being offered in the squalor of the cities, they want the nice free shit being offered in the suburbs. And nevermind the whole goddamn reason the suburbs have nicer shit is because people work for that stuff instead of lolling about demanding that somebody give it to them for free. It’s all about moving the inner-city trash with their inner-city trash culture to the suburbs so the suburbs will be just as trashy as the cities.

    1. Goddammit, close the tag.

      1. ObEditButtonLament

    2. Yeah, some people want the material life of the white, middle class suburbs but reject the ethics of the white, middle class suburbs (see Smithsonian poster).

      1. Exactly – it’s this whole cargo cult mentality where people don’t understand that living well is a consequence of your actions – you can’t just give somebody that lacks any understanding of delayed gratification the shit you earn by delayed gratification and expect them to grasp the idea of delayed gratification. It’s not how it works when you give people free shit they haven’t done a goddamn thing to earn. You get these spoiled brat socialist kids that think free shit just magically appears. And their parents, who ought to have their ass beat for not teaching their kids any different. Yeah, I just won the white people’s lottery by getting a good education and a good job before I got married and had kids and saved my money to buy a nice house and invest in my own business – but you go ahead and drop out of high school and have 3 kids by 3 different fathers by the time you’re 19 and we’ll see if you win the lottery too.

        1. It seems to be about ten billion years ago by now, I heard a simple (admittedly probabilistic) prescription for basic middle-class success… It will not work infallibly EVERY time, but try it!

          ‘1) Go to school, or otherwise learn a job skill or 2 or 3…

          ‘2) Don’t be spitting out babies that you can not yet support! If you do, put them up for adoption! If you can’t or won’t use birth control, when not yet ready to support kinds, keep yer dick and-or your twat in yer pants!

          ‘3) GET A JERB!!!! Building shit or providing services that people actually want to buy, that is! Dog-shit art on the wall does NOT qualify, MOST of the time!

          But these days, saying crap like the above is racist and-or speciesist and-or being a cis-het shitlord, so I guess I should give up on my old fuddy-duddy ways…

          1. ‘Your’ simple prescription isn’t yours at all.

  13. Is local control of housing better?

    In my town people whine about the high cost of housing. And a few years ago, we got a new municipal law that requires “affordable” housing components with every new development, as either some units restricted to sell or rent at below-market prices or as a fee paid by the developer (and thus the buyer). Of course, this makes housing cost more. But, duh?

    And in a recent twist, the city council rejected a plan by a builder to construct several modest houses that would include a rental apartment with each unit. The pitch was that having rental income would make home ownership more affordable, and the rental units would add to that part of the housing pool. But the council balked because there was no guarantee that the house sales or apartment rentals would go to “needy” people.

    1. Is local control of housing better?

      Insofar as that it’s easier to get rid of stupid laws and politicians at the local level, yes.

      Sure, the locals might fuck things up too, as you clearly demonstrate with your examples. But City Council members are a lot easier to replace than Federal bureaucrats.

      That builder probably has the resources to participate in the campaigns of the local city council, pointing out that they’re being idiots, and the ways in which they’re being idiots (even if those specific house sales or apartments don’t go to “the needy”, the mere existence of more housing stock will work to lower prices in general), and potentially get less idiotic council members elected. The builder probably doesn’t have the resources for a campaign like that at the national level. Especially since at the federal level, it’s unelected bureaucrats making those decisions, which means they’d have to influence the course of entire administrations.

    2. When I was a kid in the 80s, my parents still argued at the dinner table about what the local school board was doing, or about the local city politics. We’d do that because my mom would read articles in the Gazette talking about the latest council meetings and start a discussion about it.

      Today, local papers have been replaced by media almost completely located in New York and DC. Even libertarians are mainly discussing national issues on this national website, as if there was ever any chance of a Libertarian candidate getting elected, or being successful in a country with virtually no libertarians locally.

      The only person paying attention at the local level is George Soros. City by city, state by state, he is deploying his money to elect radicals and socialists who will turn every major city in the country into another San Francisco.

      1. The only person paying attention at the local level is George Soros. City by city, state by state, he is deploying his money to elect radicals and socialists who will turn every major city in the country into another San Francisco.

        Not true!

        Mike Bloomberg is also doing this. As a New Mexican now “represented” by Bloomberg bought politicians at the state and federal level, I’m painfully aware of this. :-/

        1. Tom Steyer is kicking in also.

  14. “conservative critics of the Obama-era rule who had been working to replace it with something that managed to be both deregulatory while still making a good faith effort to enforce the Fair Housing Act.”

    Don’t forget the clean fuel based on unicorn farts.

  15. “The president has ditched a promising, free market-influenced revamp of Obama-era fair housing regulations in favor of a legally dubious new rule that’s heavy on local control.”

    And this is bad? What the fuck, Christian.

    “The new rule, which goes into effect in 30 days, essentially guts the 2015 Obama-era affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) rule,/i> that has long been derided by conservatives as an example of federal bureaucratic overreach, and which the Trump administration has been trying to unwind for the past two years.”

    And this “Prioritizes Toxic Culture War Politics Over Deregulation”? What the fuck, Christian.

    “Both the very limited requirements of this new regulation and the rhetoric Trump has used to sell it have sparked a fierce reaction from progressive fair housing advocates, who argue that the federal government is essentially giving a green light for localities to discriminate.

    Limited requirements in regulation? Quelle horreur! That’s libertarian or something… Seriously, what the fuck, Christian.

    “This is not a fair housing rule,” says Debby Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance. “What [Trump] is doing here is strictly political. It’s about revving up his base and fanning the flames of racial division in this country in advance of the election.”

    Authoritarian prog predictably claims deregulation is racist. “That’s quotable, and unchallengeable” says Christian. What the fuck, Christian.

    I think Christian originally wrote this article for Vox.

    1. Fock him and the entire B Team

      1. I am now imagining the “A-Team” theme song played out of tune, off tempo, and with some added sad trombone. 😀

        *Doo d-doo doooo, wah wah wahhhhhh*

  16. Hols on. This still needs to be run by John Roberts and his legal opinion generating Magic 8 ball.

    1. It’s a tax.

      1. I wish that they would tax the LIVING HELL out of identity theft, you evil moronic parasite!

  17. Sounds like deregulating to me.. Excellent.. It is sad it’s not just a flat out repeal of the entire federal HUD mob that’s made housing as UN-affordable as an education and entirely unconstitutional; but hey, its a step in the right direction.

  18. I know libertarians hate zoning laws, but if put to a vote, the single family density rules would win every time.

    1. In a libertarian society, towns would essentially be private entities and they would impose zoning-like rules on residents, based on majority vote by property owners. Many towns would choose single family homes as the predominant housing type.

      On the other hand, eliminating zoning restrictions by federal decree is not a libertarian policy.

  19. So more Federal government control of housing (or anything else)suddenly becomes a Libertarian thing? Sounds more likely it’s an Orangemanbad thing.

  20. The solution to housing problems isn’t subsidizing, but paradoxically, to build beautiful new housing. Then rich people move into it and guess what happens to their old house? (I will leave this as an exercise for the reader.)

    Anyway, get the government out of the subsidy business. They only inflate prices. Instead the solution is for rich people to establish no-frills, low-carbon resort colonies. Then people (of any age) can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and thereby obviate both big government and charity. There will be strict rules of behavior and you must vote for small government conservatives (or get kicked out). This is the way to libertarian utopia!

    1. I keep trying to tell my friends in the SFO area this, and they just look at me like I’m speaking in tongues.

      1. Um…… no-frills, low-carbon resort colonies.

        You mean rest homes. Ugh!

        1. I should have quoted. I meant the part about “building new housing”.

    2. “…Instead the solution is for rich people to establish no-frills, low-carbon resort colonies. Then people (of any age) can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves…”

      You must have been under a rock for the last couple of years (before the tin-pot-dictators shut down the economy):
      Nationally, we were at an effective zero unemployment rate. The people who weren’t working weren’t doing so for a lack of jobs; they were doing so for a lack of desire.

  21. Anyone remember when the Obama administration enacted AFFH? What was Reason’s view on this? IIRC, it was pretty negative.

    1. I certainly couldn’t find any articles praising it.

      Reason has fairly consistently been against the activists who make zillions of demands on developers before being permitted to build new housing in an area.

      I doubt they are full-on Houston-style “abolish zoning” but I think it’s safe to say that they are pro-development.

  22. The original purpose of inserting language about “affirmatively furthering fair housing” in the Fair Housing Act was to ensure that “regardless of where people live, they have access to the kinds of things we all need to flourish,” Goldberg tells Reason, listing “healthy grocery stores, good transportation, well-performing schools, clean air, clean water, etc. things that are really connected to opportunity.”

    Imagine being a libertarian.

  23. “…The president has ditched a promising, free market-influenced revamp of Obama-era fair housing regulations…”

    Perhaps there’s evidence of that somewhere in the article, but I missed it.

  24. According to Reason, federal imposition of fair housing rules = libertarian, leaving housing to local control = right wing authoritarianism. Utterly bizarre.

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  26. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the federal government will give each low income black household $2,000 a month in housing subsidies under AFFH.
    Whether you agree with the morality of this or not, this doesn’t sound like a free market solution to segregation.

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  28. “HUD is why housing is so expensive.”

    For such a powerful force, the market seems so easily felled by some minor social engineering. My house in another zip code would cost 10 times as much as it does. HUD and Fair Housing are national programs, so perhaps bigger forces are at play to explain why some housing is expensive in some places. Like maybe the market.

    If you people are trying to sell the benefits of the Platonic ideal of a free market of housing and whatever else, then why should anyone bother paying attention? Of course laws and community input “distort” the housing market. They distort its price away from what it would be in another set of not necessarily desirable conditions. You guys keep talking like you’re selling cheaper housing with no downside.

    If, as part of those conditions, you’re simply requiring that cities and neighborhoods research possible racial discrimination, that’s not only arguably a good project, it would in a sense “correct” the market for a nefarious external source of distortion: racist assholes.

    1. lmao…
      “My house in another zip code would cost 10 times as much as it does.”
      because of…
      “racist assholes”

      Ya right…. I’m sure that’s the reason… It must be the reason anyone has to *earn* what their hearts desire. If only we could end racism; we wouldn’t have to *earn* anything anymore we could just go around call person x,y,z a “racist asshole” and take from them whatever we want.

      1. That has nothing to do with what I wrote.

        Racism in housing is a pastime so American that our own dear president engaged in it as a fundamental part of his early career.

  29. So, what’s the “problem” that the federal government thinks it can “solve?” Poor people can’t afford to live in rich people’s neighborhoods, and this is “unfair?” And the solution is to turn nice neighborhoods into shitholes?

    Well, I don’t see the “fairness” in that. Sumbuddy ‘splain it to me, please.

    1. rich, competent and resourceful people BAD…
      poor, incompetent, lazy, self-entitled people GOOD…

      The cure to Inequality lies in the poor, incompetent, lazy and self-entitled people’s ability to form a social mob of legal (gun) power and steal the wealth from the competent (i.e. enslave) members of society.

      End result – EVERYONE wants to be a poor, incompetent, lazy, self-entitled person because no-one wants to be enslaved.

      1. You’re attaching a lot of extra adjectives to “rich” and “poor.” Get your insufferable moral assumptions off my body.

        1. Yeah, TJJ2000! Tony is insufferable enough, he doesn’t need anyone adding to that!

          1. My moral assumptions are much simpler than the libertarian’s. They believe that things are bad if they are unprofitable. I believe bad things are bad. We can try to fix poverty or we can spend another half century calling the poor lazy and see if it starts to work at some point.

            1. Your moral assumptions are a complete contradiction —

              “They believe that things are bad if they are unprofitable.” …. “We can try to fix poverty”

              —- Ummmm Tony…. If it’s not “bad” then why are you trying to “fix” it???

              … or else you cannot see any correlation between ‘unprofitable’ and ‘poverty’ (which probably really is the defect in the left). It must be the non-lazy incompetent you speak of since I see that’s the only adjective you left off. I’d say your moral assumptions aren’t necessarily ‘lazy’ but as a contradiction are certainly ‘incompetent’.

  30. Trump has dragged America back / down to 1920s-30s European politics of two big(ger) government socialist identity politics gangs squabbling so loudly and vigorously, that all sane voices are drowned out and forced out. Trumpism, progressivism, fascism, nationalism, populism, and socialism are too close and contentious cousins too prone to family feuds – feuds that have a history of grinding up innocent bystanders, too, like they were thrown into wood chippers.

    “‘Nationalist’ Is How a Republican Spells ‘Progressive.’”
    ~ David French

    Trading DC swamp rats for NYC sewer rats has gotten us only even more septic rats.

    1. So returning control to the local level from the federal level is fascism? Or is it nationalism? Or Socialism? Or big government? Or is it federalism? Explain your answer using logic.

      1. And it can’t be simply Orange Man Bad or use discredited talking points. It must be logical and fact based. No hyperbole allowed.

      2. Returning or allowing ownership or responsibility, but with such political or fiscal dicta or perils attached as to deny control is the epitome of fascism.

        Fascism is socialism with deniability.

        “No. I don’t take responsibility at all.” ~ Donald J. Trump

        Indeed, despite the fevered protestations of both fascists and socialists; their sole difference is that fascists nationalize control without ownership or responsibility, while socialists sometimes take both control and ownership or responsibility.

        “The superficial distinctions of Fascism, Bolshevism, Hitlerism, are the concern of journalists and publicists; the serious student sees in them only one root-idea of a complete conversion of social power into State power.”
        ~ Albert Jay Nock

        1. So turning it back to locals is nationalizing it? Consistency is not your strong point is it?

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  32. An article about AFFH that doesn’t mention Dubuque, Iowa is arguably incomplete.

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