I’ll admit, I too chuckled when I first heard the story of Westchester County, N.Y. being forced to knuckle under to federal housing major domo HUD diktats concerning public sector housing. Few things amuse me more than seeing rich liberals forced to live under the policies they demand for the rest of us but usually (surprise!) exempt themselves.
Those of a certain age will remember how court-ordered busing was all the rage when it was confined to the South. But when that bludgeon was then turned upon northern cities such as Boston, suddenly it was outrageous and the momentum for busing died a quick death after that transgression.
Perhaps the same demise will happen to HUD’s Obama-powered grab for the power to dictate where each American will live and what they will live in.
The simple assumption is, according to our wise bureaucrats at HUD (and many other places,) that racism explains housing patterns rather than, say, income. Not many blacks (or Indians for that matter) can afford to live in Westchester. I certainly couldn’t afford it, either, but I’m ‘white’ so I don’t count). Yet HUD seems to have decided that every county, city, subdivision in America must meet some kind of formula of HUD’s devising. And if it doesn’t meet that formula, then RACISM! At this point it’s looking HUD will forcefully take action to make racial numbers match what it deems they should be, whether it makes any economic or social sense at all.
The “black” population of the United States is around 13%. So, does every state have to have 13% of its population as black? Montana, Vermont and Idaho each have less than 1% so will they have to import scads of blacks? Mississippi has the highest proportion at 37% (admit it, you thought Mississippi was majority black, didn’t you?), with Louisiana and Georgia following behind at 31% each. Maybe those states could send some to the other states? Could there be bidding wars?
What about every county? Would Jefferson and Claiborne counties in Mississippi, Macon and Greene counties in Alabama, all with 80% or more black citizens, force citizens out if it could not entice enough folks of other hues to come live in them? Would HUD simply round up folks at gun point and ship them around the country in rail cars to achieve the balance it deems as equitable? What about individual cities, towns? Suburbs, neighborhoods, streets, cul de sacs? Buildings and multifamily units? How do you put 13% in a duplex equation? Maybe break up a family and reform it with nonfamily members so the numbers work out?
Do these bureaucrats and politicos expect people to settle as evenly as a gas disperses? The scary thing is that they might. HUD should be shut down and the federal government needs to get out of the housing business (and don’t think Fannie and Freddie shouldn’t be on the chopping block either).
This is another example of centralized government overreach. The people behind these commands desire to control every aspect, every minute of our lives — and they expect to be compensated nicely for the job. Frankly, these things are none of their business and the Supreme Court didn’t help, thanks Anthony Kennedy, with its idiotic decision on the “disparate impact” case. I’m sure Kennedy is completely surprised that by letting the camel’s nose under the tent, we now have camels crowding in. We will be eventually crowded out by them.
ADDENDUM: More from Powerline on some efforts to kill the monster: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).