The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department is embarking on a big government quest to manufacture the racial make-up of neighborhoods across America. During a recent speech at a NAACP event, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan discussed a new regulation and government database designed to add “protected classes” to primarily white neighborhoods.
As hard as it is to believe sometimes, this is still American and everyone has the right to live wherever they want—as long as they can afford the rent/mortgage payment. The government should not be involved in even the slightest way in determining where anyone decides to live. If a person is discriminated against during a housing matter, then the problem should become a legal issue for the courts to resolve.
The HUD interactive database will allegedly help government regulators and local housing department staffers and clients enact the recently proposed protected classes regulation. If approved, the new rule would mandate Housing and Urban Development agencies “affirmatively further” minority resident status in neighborhoods deemed “primarily white.”
HUD Secretary Donovan stated during the NAACP convention that President Barack Obama and his administration are fighting a “quieter form of discrimination.” The Obama administration reportedly feels that this alleged housing discrimination is just as harmful as the racially restrictive real estate covenants which were commonplace before the civil rights movement.
The Housing and Urban Development Secretary believes that potential minority residents are not being encouraged to live in areas considered predominantly white. The federal agency also feels that the white neighborhoods contain “top-notch” amenities such as quality schools, government service, and grocery stores.
HUD officials plan to prosecute at a higher rate activities which the department deems to be segregationist in nature. According to Shaun Donovan, a total of 25,000 people have been paid damages in discrimination related cases reported to the agency over the past three years. The investigations prompted the new diversifying neighborhoods mandate. If a wrong occurs, there should be legal action and punishment, but the federal government should not use the discriminatory actions of a few to justify levying overreaching programs and heavy-handed penalties on entire towns.
Under the proposed neighborhood diversifying program, the actions of a single landlord will impact not only the entire municipality, but the low-income families presently served by HUD. Instead of issuing fines on a case-by-case basis, the Obama administration is seeking to withhold Housing and Urban Development grants from state and local entities that fail to achieve greater diversity.
County HUD officials interactions with real estate agents, homeowners associations, and others in the housing industry would have to reflect the push for neighborhood integration in order to remain in compliance and obtain HUD grants for a vast array of projects. While I am not a big supporter of grants in general, the blanket punishment will disproportionally harm rural communities.
Save maybe one or two elderly good ole’ boys, no one in my 96 percent white county would bat an eyelash at a minority family buying a house next door. What those of us who enjoy living in a relatively crime free and safe community would vocally object to is encouraging folks from the city to move here to fill some arbitrary quota, regardless of their skin tone.
There are absolutely no race problems in our majestic little hamlet now, and we would all like to keep it that way. Several local couples have adopted or are fostering black or biracial children in our county. There are no stern glances when the children in dire need of a loving home attend prom with a white date or are named the queen of a local festival. Things are simpler in the country, people are judged by the content of their character; liars, cheats, and lazy slackers are chastised strongly without regard for the color of their complexion.
The few black families in the county would be no more pleased with the thought of people from a government funded metropolitan housing project relocating here than the little old white lady who lives alone. The decent folks who live in housing projects and other low-income rental properties surely want those involved with gang activity and drugs to move away so their children can safely play outside. I could not imagine living in such circumstances and do not want a government mandate to force me to learn how to cope with being surrounded by crime.
It is definitely not politically correct to associate low-income rentals and housing projects with increased crime, but I am an informed realist and not a rose-colored-glasses-wearing liberal. My husband and I have both been local elected officials and have witnessed first-hand the problems police officers have been forced to contend with at the three low-income housing projects and rental homes which already exist in our county.
Housing and Urban Development officials will use a report card of sorts to determine if a community is meeting its racial diversity goals if the Obama administration’s HUD project becomes a reality. Towns will be scored on a set of census data which relates to racial and ethnic concentrations within the municipality.
HUD staffers place either green or blue dots on a map to illustrate the racial diversity of a given area. The distribution of dots is something the Obama administration wants towns to take seriously when real estate agents are signing up buyers for FHA loans and towns are planning to build a new subdivision.
If state real estate licensing boards, county commissions, and local zoning boards do not take the colored dot placement seriously, the federal government will punish them by yanking funding opportunities as well. There is no zoning in my county, but a multitude of families that have been waiting for county water and sewer services for decades could be adversely impacted if the county commissioners cannot get all of our dots in the government mandated order.
The only way to adjust the number of dots in a HUD pleasing manner here would be to entice people from outlying cities to relocate. Where individuals want to live is up to them; a government map complete with colorful stickers should not be a factor during the house hunting process.
What do you think about the racial diversity neighborhood project proposed by the Obama administration and HUD?