Rep. Gosar Introduces Bill to End Obama’s War on the American Suburbs

For Immediate Release

Date: January 12, 2017

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act of 2017 which would end the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH):

“The AFFH rule marks President Obama’s most aggressive attempt yet to force his utopian ideology on American communities disguised under the banner of ‘fairness’. This overreaching mandate is an attempt to extort communities into giving up control of local zoning decisions and reengineer the makeup of our neighborhoods.

“Just as the president used the DOJ, IRS and DHS as a political weapon, he has now expanded his arsenal to include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a way of punishing neighborhoods that don’t fall in line with his liberal agenda of federally mandated demographics. No president, Republican or Democrat, has the right to dictate where Americans are allowed to live and it is up to Congress to rein in this authority on behalf of the people we represent. This is one of countless rules that President Obama can take with him when he leaves office in 8 days.”

U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Senate Companion version of this legislation today and released a statement saying, “Every American should be free to choose where to live, and every community should be free to zone its neighborhoods and compete for new residents according to its distinct values. We don’t need a National Zoning Board. Washington should let Americans govern local. A better debate would be about how Americans could better spend the money that is wasted every year by the dysfunctional Community Development Block Grant Program.” 

Background:

The full text of the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act can be found HERE.

Original Cosponsors include Representatives Babin, Blackburn, Blum, Buck, Burgess, DesJarlais, Duncan (SC), Duncan (TN), Franks, Grothman, King (IA), Massie, McClintock, Poe, Rohrabacher, Sessions, Smith (MO), Webster, and Yoho.

This legislation is endorsed by Americans for Limited Government.

Congressman Gosar’s legislation withdrawals the AFFH regulation and the Assessment Tool used to implement this new mandate.  Additionally, the bill includes language to prevent any future database of geospatial information on racial disparity with regards to affordable housing. The bill also has an important federalism provision that requires HUD to consult with local governments and local communities for the purposes of furthering the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by means other than top-down federal regulations.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2015. Communities that reject this overreach and do not comply will lose out on millions of dollars annually. The damage to local communities that will result from the AFFH rule is well documented and further evidenced in publications about the regulation including the PAHRA MonitorInvestor’s Business Daily and the New York Daily.

In the 113th Congress, the House of Representatives successfully approved Congressman Gosar’s amendment prohibiting HUD from implementing its proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. The amendment was successfully attached to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 but was not included the final version signed into law. This amendment was supported by Heritage and Americans for Limited Government. Click HERE to read more about this effort.

Congressman Gosar wrote and op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily titled Latest Federal Mandate On 'Fair Housing' Is Anything But, which can be read HERE.