Obama declares war on the suburbs

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Obama declares war on the suburbs

[cap­tion id=“attachment_76789” align=“alignright” width=“250”]Morton Grove Gazebo on Christmas Day Mor­ton Grove Gazebo on
Christ­mas Day in 2013[/caption]

By John Ruberry

Obscured by lib­eral attacks on the Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag is the Affir­ma­tively Fur­ther­ing Fair Hous­ing Rule announced ear­lier this month by US Hous­ing and Urban Devel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Julian Castro.

HUD will review racial demo­graph­ics in sub­urbs such as mine, Mor­ton Grove, Illi­nois, and look for what it may view as pat­terns of seg­re­ga­tion. HUD will pro­pose solu­tions, mainly adding afford­able hous­ing for minori­ties. If the town balks, fed­eral fund­ing will be yanked because HUD says the munic­i­pal­ity will be in vio­la­tion of the Fair Hous­ing Act.

Ouch.

Already the Obama admin­is­tra­tion is col­lect­ing sen­si­tive racial data with the likely goal that this “spread­ing the wealth around” sur­vives beyond Obama’s depar­ture from the White House in 18 months.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_76786” align=“alignleft” width=“250”]Old Ruberry home in Roseland Old Ruberry home in Rose­land in 2008[/caption]

The fed­eral record on inte­gra­tion is a bad one. The first house I lived in was in Chicago’s then-​all white Rose­land neigh­bor­hood. We moved out in 1968. And because unscrupu­lous real estate agents were engaged in panic-​peddling based upon race fears, my par­ents sold their home at a loss, although to be fair our sub­ur­ban home was a much bet­ter one. Three years later we vis­ited the old neigh­bor­hood – it was then nearly all-​black – and about one-​third of the houses, includ­ing our bun­ga­low, were boarded up. All of these home were in default of Fed­eral Hous­ing Admin­is­tra­tion loans as the orange signs on each house informed us. Rose­land never recov­ered. Fif­teen years later Barack Obama worked as a com­mu­nity orga­nizer there – yet Rose­land remains poverty-​stricken and a high crime area. In fact, early this morn­ing two men were shot while rid­ing in a van in the unhappy neighborhood.

It was in the 1970s that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pur­sued school bus­ing to inte­grate urban pub­lic schools. For a brief period they were – until white fam­i­lies moved to the sub­urbs or sent their chil­dren to expen­sive pri­vate schools.

By the late 1990s, newly mar­ried and a father, I lived with my wife and daugh­ter in a mar­gin­ally dan­ger­ous Chicago neigh­bor­hood so we could save money for a decent down pay­ment on a sub­ur­ban home. Mrs. Marathon Pun­dit and I did not want to raise our daugh­ter in such a place nor sub­ject her to Chicago’s wretched schools. The sub­urb we live in is inte­grated – it is 30 per­cent Asian-​American. But our black and His­panic pop­u­la­tion is negligible.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_76790” align=“alignright” width=“250”]Abandoned Detroit home Aban­doned Detroit home ear­lier this month[/caption]

Will HUD bureau­crats try to fix this “inequity” by dec­i­mat­ing sub­urbs such as mine? The fed­eral government’s record on such “repairs” is a bad one.

I’ll leave the final words to Nolan Fin­ley of the Detroit News:

Hous­ing is one of the more dif­fi­cult mar­kets to manip­u­late for social out­comes. Home­own­ers always have the option of pack­ing up and mov­ing on when the nature of their com­mu­ni­ties no longer meets their needs. They won’t be trapped by gov­ern­ment man­dates in com­mu­ni­ties where they don’t feel comfortable.

It’s a nice thought that there can be sub­urbs where $1 mil­lion estates sit right next to $800 a month apart­ments, and every­body gets along just fine. The real­ity is that efforts to coerce eco­nomic diver­sity in hous­ing almost always end up destroy­ing neighborhoods.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

Morton Grove Gazebo on Christmas Day
Morton Grove Gazebo on
Christmas Day in 2013

By John Ruberry

Obscured by liberal attacks on the Confederate battle flag is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule announced earlier this month by US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.

HUD will review racial demographics in suburbs such as mine, Morton Grove, Illinois, and look for what it may view as patterns of segregation. HUD will propose solutions, mainly adding affordable housing for minorities. If the town balks, federal funding will be yanked because HUD says the municipality will be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Ouch.

Already the Obama administration is collecting sensitive racial data with the likely goal that this “spreading the wealth around” survives beyond Obama’s departure from the White House in 18 months.

Old Ruberry home in Roseland
Old Ruberry home in Roseland in 2008

The federal record on integration is a bad one. The first house I lived in was in Chicago’s then-all white Roseland neighborhood. We moved out in 1968. And because unscrupulous real estate agents were engaged in panic-peddling based upon race fears, my parents sold their home at a loss, although to be fair our suburban home was a much better one. Three years later we visited the old neighborhood–it was then nearly all-black–and about one-third of the houses, including our bungalow, were boarded up. All of these home were in default of Federal Housing Administration loans as the orange signs on each house informed us. Roseland never recovered. Fifteen years later Barack Obama worked as a community organizer there–yet Roseland remains poverty-stricken and a high crime area. In fact, early this morning two men were shot while riding in a van in the unhappy neighborhood.

It was in the 1970s that the federal government pursued school busing to integrate urban public schools. For a brief period they were–until white families moved to the suburbs or sent their children to expensive private schools.

By the late 1990s, newly married and a father, I lived with my wife and daughter in a marginally dangerous Chicago neighborhood so we could save money for a decent down payment on a suburban home. Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I did not want to raise our daughter in such a place nor subject her to Chicago’s wretched schools. The suburb we live in is integrated–it is 30 percent Asian-American. But our black and Hispanic population is negligible.

Abandoned Detroit home
Abandoned Detroit home earlier this month

Will HUD bureaucrats try to fix this “inequity” by decimating suburbs such as mine? The federal government’s record on such “repairs” is a bad one.

I’ll leave the final words to Nolan Finley of the Detroit News:

Housing is one of the more difficult markets to manipulate for social outcomes. Homeowners always have the option of packing up and moving on when the nature of their communities no longer meets their needs. They won’t be trapped by government mandates in communities where they don’t feel comfortable.

It’s a nice thought that there can be suburbs where $1 million estates sit right next to $800 a month apartments, and everybody gets along just fine. The reality is that efforts to coerce economic diversity in housing almost always end up destroying neighborhoods.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.