President Trump announces the end of an Obama-era fair-housing mandate in a deranged tweet about the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream”
Today in “please vote in November” news, President Trump just rescinded an Obama-era mandate that made low-income housing available in suburbs, saying he didn’t want to bother anyone trying to live the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream” by **gasp** living in community with people less wealthy than they are.
Some quick backstory. Once upon a time, America practiced formal segregation. Now, we practice informal segregation — it’s called, the suburbs. During the Obama administration, President Obama passed the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) act, which was supposed to eliminate housing discrimination and promote the de-segregation of communities. What this means is that landlords cannot refuse to rent to someone because of the color of their skin and suburbs are incentivized with government dollars to build affordable housing in middle-class neighborhoods in an attempt to diversify the neighborhood and help people get out of poverty. All good things, right?
The Obama administration did a good job enforcing this and even sued Westchester County in New York when county officials took $62.5 million from the federal government, claiming they would build affordable housing in the predominately white suburbs, but instead they built the affordable housing in an already segregated and impoverished neighborhood.
— Jeff Andrews (@jandrews81) July 29, 2020
Trump has been trying to get rid of the AFFH since his term began and this week, he succeeded. If you try to find any information about the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing act anywhere on the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it’s gone. The page has been deleted.
It’s deplorable in itself to walk back housing equality, but to brag about doing so would be super deranged. And that’s exactly what Trump did.
“I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood,” Trump tweeted.
I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020
@RIFICA Yes please! 😀— WordPress.com (@wordpressdotcom) January 7, 2015
Just to re-iterate, the president is bragging about keeping low-income people (who are disproportionately persons of color) out of the suburbs. He’s proud that he’s made it harder for people to get out of poverty. It’s interesting how he spells “white supremacy” as “Suburban Lifestyle Dream.” Huh. Weird.
Reminder that this language has a long history as thinly coded racism that has had the effect of keeping suburban neighborhoods segregated and that numerous studies have shown little to no link between affordable housing and increased crime https://t.co/5p68gx8EQk pic.twitter.com/R9hvW4MXlO
— Liam Dillon (@dillonliam) July 29, 2020
According to the Alliance For Housing Justice, “14 million people — including over 4 million children — live in communities of concentrated poverty.” What the AFFH was trying to do was help some of those people out of poverty, and to do that, all the suburbs have to do is build some affordable housing. That’s it! The horror of middle-class mostly white people having to encounter someone less wealthy than they are. Ugh, the horror.
Anyways, the election is less than 100 days away.