Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new regulation today known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH):
“Today’s announced new AFFH regulation marks President Obama’s most aggressive attempt yet to force his utopian ideology on American communities disguised under the banner of ‘fairness’. This new Washington mandate has nothing to do with race, as housing discrimination has been illegal for more than 40 years. This overreaching new regulation 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 has used the DOJ, IRS and DHS as a political weapon, he has now expanded his arsenal to include HUD as a way of punishing neighborhoods that don’t fall in line with his liberal agenda.
“The House of Representatives twice voted in favor of amendments I introduced that sought to protect local zoning decisions and rejected this intrusive Washington mandate. I will continue to fight this misguided regulation and do everything in my power to ensure not a single penny is appropriated to this big government takeover of America’s neighborhoods.”
On June 9, 2015, the House passed Congressman Gosar’s amendment to defund this newly announced AFFH regulation by a vote 229-193. This 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 supports 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 regulation successfully passed the House 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, rejecting this overreaching regulation is currently cosponsored by 20 members in the House.
The new 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 mandate 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 new AFFH regulation already took place in the State of New York. The result 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.