House Passes Gosar Amendment Protecting Local Zoning Rights from Federal Overreach
For Immediate Release
Date: June 9, 2015
Contact: Steven D. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after his amendment preventing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from implementing the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation passed the House by a vote of 229-193 and was attached to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016:
“As the president reaches the end of his second term, he has made it clear that his top priorities during his waning days are furthering his far-left political agenda by forcing big government programs on the American people. His new AFFH regulation is one of the most far-reaching attempts yet to punish communities that don’t submit to the president’s liberal ideology. American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government.
“Furthermore, HUD officials shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble. Local zoning decisions have traditionally been, and should always be, made by local communities, not bureaucrats in Washington DC. I am extremely pleased to see the House put a stop to this attempt by the Obama Administration to control a fundamental aspect of the American dream.”
Congressman Gosar’s amendment is endorsed by Americans for Limited Government, Freedom Works, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Taxpayers for Common Sense and Eagle Forum.
Americans for Limited Government supported the Gosar amendment stating, “Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal since the 1960s, and people should be allowed to choose for themselves where they live without D.C. bureaucrats nationalizing zoning decisions for political reasons.”
An amendment to this same appropriations bill blocking funds from going to this misguided rule successfully passed in the 113th Congress. More information on that amendment can be found HERE. Congressman Gosar appeared on Fox Business Network to discuss the issue. Click HERE to watch the clip.
In addition, Congressman Gosar’s bill, the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act, H.R. 1995, rejects this overreaching rule is currently cosponsored by 20 members in the House.
The AFFH regulation will increase local taxes, depress property values, and cause further harm to impoverished communities that are actually in need of these funds. According to reports, in 2012, this rule would have negatively impacted more than 1,200 municipalities throughout the country, costing these communities to forfeit millions that are meant help the neediest families.
A trial run of the AFFH rule already took place in New York state. The rule was a failure and a local county was initially forced to forego $12 million in funds that would have benefited the community due to the impractical and unrealistic requirements associated with misguided agency regulation. The county had intended to use a large portion of these block grant funds to establish public housing for individuals in need.
Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and writer for National Review, has been following this issue for years and published an article prior to the vote entitled, Obama’s Next Transformation: And How to Stop It.