Tavares, FL April 27, 2016
Watchdog news about local Government issues the liberal main stream media avoids telling you
The HUD program is called AFFH, or "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing". We have followed the genesis of this Federal power grab as shown by our Dec. 2013 article HERE.
The Lake County Board and County staff IGNORED our public input warning about the new stealth rules, and most Board members probably didn't even read it. We suggested they have a public hearing on AFFH and they ignored that suggestion also (while Jimmy Conner was Chair). When the Board renewed HUG CDBG grant agreements last August, they also agreed to the new AFFH rules embedeed into the grant.
Many cities in Lake County also probably failed to even read the new AFFH rule requirements when they also renewed the common CFBG grants used for affordable housing and other local programs related to housing. I blame the City and County planners, their agency managers and grant administrators for this because they usually follow direction from the American Planning Association, or want the CDBG funds so much they fail to describe AFFH to elected officials. I know there was no public hearing for the Lake County Board, and probably city staffs also failed to explain clearly to their elected officials the dangers of AFFH conditions (assuming they were all included in new HUD grant renewal documents) .
These new AFFH rules are following the same path used to force states to adopt Common Core. The Feds attach new conditions to funding programs and the recipients of the grant, lusting for the funds, take them, not realizing or researching how damaging the new Federal conditions are, and how much they reduce the power of state or local decision makers.
Well, one Colorado Town, Castle Rock, recently stood up to HUD, and refused to renew their CDBG grants to escape the ponderous studies and rules embedded in AFFH. Their action was reported HERE by a property rights group called Sustainable Freedom Labs, a leader in property rights and fighter against government overreach. The Castle Rock town council wrote a letter signed by the mayor to HUD explaining why:
"Thank you for your letter concerning CDBG funds and the Town of Castle Rock. Last year, when faced with the question of whether the Town should become an entitlement community under the CDBG program, the Council declined to pursue that status because it would result in unclear and unwarranted interference from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For years, Castle Rock has accepted various grant monies offered by HUD through Douglas County. This money was parceled out by Town Council mainly to fix alleyways and make curbs ADA accessible. But last year HUD added very alarming strings to the grants; 377 pages of new rules that give HUD drastic new powers over our cities and counties that in affect eliminate the zoning and planning powers of your local elected officials which can now be overruled by HUD bureaucrats in Washington DC.
If we continue to accept the HUD grants, we will be forced to prepare detailed taxpayer-financed studies of our schools, retail, housing, and other community aspects to HUD who will decide if our neighborhoods are “furthering fair housing.” That means that even though our town has never been found in violation of the anti-discrimination housing rules that have been law for over 50 years, HUD on a whim could force us to build low-income, government subsidized housing into our neighborhoods if HUD decides we aren’t racially balanced enough. This is already happening across the U.S.; just google Westchester County, New York.
One example: according to HUD, if your family home sits on a quarter-acre property, your neighborhood is potentially discriminatory. It would be much less racist if a high-rise low-income apartment building went up next door, never mind local zoning regulations.
The result for us could be reduced property values, a large population increase due to an influx of people from the cities to our suburbs, more crime, large local tax increases to support HUD’s mandate, and loss of local zoning control and other local decisions.
As a Town Council, we will resist all federal attempt to destroy our local sovereignty, be it from HUD, the EPA, or any other government agency. Council will always defend our resident’s right to make their own local decisions without federal interference. While I appreciate the many good works that are represented by your programs, accepting onerous federal grant requirements, which harm our community, cannot be the price to pay for federal monies."
The letter was signed by the Town Mayor and Council members.
- Both Lake County and City Council elected officials need to hold public workshops where already existing examples of AFFH implementation are presented and the outcomes and local resistance.
- City and County planners need to be questioned by AFFH skeptics at public meetings about the negatives of the AFFH program and show where they educated elected officials of the dangers.
- Agency staff need to disclose publicly and track ALL AFFH program costs, including internal staff time, as separate budget sections related to implementing AFFH provisions.
- The officials need to survey local community members if they believe the AFFH rules will reduce local sovereignty and make recommendations.
- County and City officials need to REJECT all HUD and CDBG grants that require compliance with the new AFFH rules and programs. Even if some officials say they are not big enough or neighborhoods are not "wealthy" enough to be affected by AFFH, they need to stop NOW before the program is rolled out to smaller communities.
- Elected officials and City / County planners or staff who administer CDBG programs need to read the reference materials below (including Agency Tyranny by John Anthony) to understand alternate viewpoints from those distributed by HUD.
- This will be a subject of discussion in re-election campaigns. Should elected officials sell out FUTURE local control and sovereignty just to get HUD grant funds?
References about AFFH:
FiscalRangers.com also has a periodically updated Factsheet on AFFH dangers HERE.
AFFH.net is a podcast about dangers of AFFH. Here is their "Elevator Speech" on AFFH:
"AFFH gives FREE federal grant money to the suburbs. But what they don't tell you is that by taking the money, you the suburbs will be forced to gentrify your neighborhoods with low-income racially diverse high density housing."
1) HUD is imposing requirements that go far beyond what the 1968 Fair Housing Act demands
2) Moves low income housing to the suburbs
3) The new rule blocks private choice and the history of American residential patterns
4) Uses subsidies (block grants) as blackmail against 1,250 targeted U.S. localities
5) HUD grantees must consider statistical data such as education and transportation that are only remotely related to housing
6) Communities threatened with huge legal expenses from allegations by HUD and Civil Rights groups
7) HUD requires racial analysis of demographic data that should instead be colorblind (race baiting?)
http://sustainablefreedomlab.org/ has many posts on property rights and the dangers of AFFH and HUD's Federal overreach.
They produced a property rights pamphlet "Agency Tyranny" by John Anthony which should be required reading by all City & County elected officials and City/County Managers, planners and HUD grant adminstrators. Here is a copy: