The Department of Housing and Urban Development is now hinting or planting seeds that the Federal Government should be working to influence who houses get sold to in neighborhoods across the nation. They are suggesting that ethnic criteria from the national Census Data Base should be used to increase diversity in neighborhoods.
You think I am assuming too much – well just read what was printed in The Atlantic this week.
The federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 didn't simply prohibit discrimination in an era of starkly segregated cities. The law went one step more, requiring the government to also "affirmatively further" fair housing – to, in other words, proactively enable integration. In the four decades since, overt discrimination has clearly declined. But this second objective has remained much more elusive.
Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development published a long-awaited proposed rule that it believes will bring the Fair Housing Act and this still unachieved promise "into the 21st century." Speaking earlier this month to the NAACP, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan admitted that the requirement to enable integration had "proven largely to be a meaningless paper exercise without any teeth."
Wasn’t it bad enough that the Federal Government ushered in the housing collapse and ultimately our recession to begin with by forcing lending institutions to people who could not afford the loans? All of this was done with the wonderful and highly noble goal of increasing opportunities for lower income families and individuals to achieve the dream of home ownership.
The meltdown was the consequence of a combination of the easy money and low interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve and the easy housing engineered by a variety of government agencies and policies. Those agencies include the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and two nominally private “government-sponsored enterprises” (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The agencies — along with laws such as the Community Reinvestment Act , eventually leading to a requirement that banks make loans to people with poor and nonexistent credit histories — made widespread homeownership a national goal. This all led to a home-buying frenzy and an explosion of subprime and other non-prime mortgages, which banks and the GSEs bundled into dubious securities and peddled to investors worldwide - investment vehicles called ‘Credit Default Swaps’.
Our most recent recession, one that we are still not nearly recovered from, was a result of
Social Engineering on the part of Progressive Washington Elites and those elected leaders who were tempted to follow along in order to pander for votes. Yes we can blame the Wall Street Guys - Hovering in the background was the knowledge that the federal government would bail out troubled “too-big-to-fail” financial corporations, including Fannie and Freddie.
(For proof of this accepted knowledge, please see Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves’ – by Andrew Ross Sorkin).
I have to tell you… I am more than frustrated that our government is spending very little time working on real solutions; and thinking that these types of programs are going to actually help.
Here’s a great idea – you want people of all races and creeds to afford a home – get the heck out of the way and let the market create more jobs that pay well and provide advancement opportunity!
But no… the easier path for these politicians and bureaucrats is to pander to more special rights and perceived victim grievances.
I seriously feel like I am living in an Orwellian novel.
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