What can the Homeowner who cares greatly about their neighborhood do?
By: Smith Young
Now that AFFH is official, opposition is not going to be a flash in the pan movement; it has just begun. Certainly media is critical, and eliminating “racial imbalance” may be the end game for some, but engaging in this war against federal and local community governments is going to take participation at all levels; not the least of which is the suburban homeowner. So what can individual homeowners do, who care greatly, but are otherwise not involved in politics?
Once neighborhoods realize they are under attack and are put on the defense, winning will require assimilating a consensus of support for local policy makers opposing AFFH. Liberal Westchester County, NY, is an example where shockingly, a Republican mayor was elected in a highly Democratic county because of citizens and their ongoing battle with HUD. Homeowners who see the threat and care may be the single most important element for turning around AFFH that has been in the works since the beginning of the Obama administration.
5 Policy Maker Objectives for Opposing AFFH
- Targeted HUD localities should take action to decline future federal HUD subsidies. This will set some elected officials on their heels, but the reason is that the subsidies will be used as blackmail to make us hostages for compromising our zoning laws; county and city municipalities, when HUD begins imposing their demands for low income housing.
- Counties and the cities need to begin setting aside a legal fund for defending ourselves against HUD in the future. Yes, this means drawing the line and clarifying that we are not HUD friendly. This will be very troublesome for our county staff workers.
- For this movement to work, our local politicians will need support from an informed community where the activism rate is very high, “ in a recent Rasmussen poll, 83 percent of respondents said it was not the government’s job to diversify neighborhoods by income level, while only 8 percent say that this is an appropriate task for government.
- Promote a sense of urgency for reacting to HUD’s AFFH rule. The controlling consideration will be politics. HUD has got to “boil the frog slowly enough to prevent him from jumping”. We as citizens now against the government need to get the information out about the subtleties of the AFFH rule. This means looking at all the means possible; email, posting in libraries, community centers, HOA’s
- We must form a consensus among our policy makers on our understanding about AFFH. It will not be immediate, but it should be a realistic objective when 83% are against government diversifying neighborhoods.