Outrage Over Trump's Fair Housing Victory Lap
President Trump took to Twitter today to celebrate his administration's decision to rescind the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, approved by the Obama administration to strengthen the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Planetizen has been following the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule since its development and adoption as one of the signature civil rights accomplishments of the Obama administration. Planetizen also followed the AFFH as the Trump administration started the slow process of dismantling the rule, and again recently as President Trump leveraged the rule in the hopes of making up ground he's steadily losing with voters in the suburbs.
But this week, with the AFFH finally in ashes, the narrative has taken a bizarre turn, with a Twitter blast from the president that provoked immediate outrage on social media, and is likely to be a lowlight of planning and housing policy history for decades to come. In the Tweet, the president seems ecstatic at his administration's accomplishments in maintaining a status quo that has proven, again and again and again and again, to cause segregation that harms low-income and marginalized communities.
I took a quick tour of Planning Twitter to gather reactions, some of which are emotional responses, and some are substantive responses. None of the reactions you'll see here support the tone or the substance of the president's tweet. If you're looking for support for the decision, I'm sure Stanley Kurtz is working on something for the National Review as we speak, if he didn't have an article in the canister already.
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
Is this Presidential Behavior?
The latest installment in I Cannot Believe This Is Actually Happening pic.twitter.com/Bm4dzLZPg3
— Shannon Mattern (@shannonmattern) July 29, 2020
Never thought I’d see a President saying something like this. Never. https://t.co/NVEmtBzptr
— Lisandro Orozco (@lisandroOC) July 29, 2020
That's Racism, Right?
BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK
— Racism Watchdog says BLM (@RacismDog) July 29, 2020
Our NIMBY-in-Chief's decision is both morally and factually wrong. There is no causal link between affordable housing and crime. This is segregation. This is racism. This is evil. pic.twitter.com/mFTuQZI4Uy
— The Urbanist (@UrbanistOrg) July 29, 2020
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
The AFFH rule that Trump ripped up was about helping cities address our country’s ugly legacy of government-backed housing discrimination and segregation.
This is blatant racism from the President of the United States. And it’s disgusting. pic.twitter.com/5t7aKPBsS1
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 29, 2020
Vile, despicable, racist. pic.twitter.com/aogIEtpDpe
— Diane Yentel (@dianeyentel) July 29, 2020
File Under: Snark
he could have at least tried to pretend it was good for lower-income folks the way Ben Carson did, but no. https://t.co/YwyCMq1KYY
— sahra (@sahrasulaiman) July 29, 2020
I love the “Enjoy!” at the end of this tweet, like residential segregation is a entrée he just served up at olive garden https://t.co/I9LlZH8ijh
— James Medlock (@jdcmedlock) July 29, 2020
trump wading into housing policy gives dems two choices: take the "anti-trump" stance, and support suburban housing integration, or run to the right by promising they won't "destroy the suburbs" either. one is way better, but guess which one they'll probably choose
— Liam O'Connell (@liameoconnell) July 29, 2020
What’s he going to do next? Defund transit to keep it from reaching the suburbs? https://t.co/NEuQxnPGPS
— Dave (@DE_Gifford) July 29, 2020
if you think it’s abhorrent that national leadership is saying this stuff about suburban affordable housing, wait til you hear what city councils have been saying and implementing for years
— Stop calling buildings/places "gems" it's cliché (@AnjulieRao) July 29, 2020
Saying the quiet part loud on the behalf of millions of white American homeowners, actually. https://t.co/IYTFKGvbVW
— heavy metal open streets (no cops) (@alexbaca) July 29, 2020
people will deny this now of course but just 2-3 years ago it was not a fringe position on the left that either
1. NIMBYism didn't exist, or
2. NIMBYism wasn't a dominant force in land use in liberal suburbs, or
3. NIMBYism had no impact on housing affordability or segregation https://t.co/uplt5Pionf
— ollie (@olzhu) July 29, 2020
YIMBYs right now: pic.twitter.com/Cll6TUcplL
— Laura Foote (@NeverSassyLaura) July 29, 2020
Policy Wonks Respond
and also, although racist NIMBYism is very much a real thing, in the places where it is most politically salient it is largely untethered from national politics.
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) July 29, 2020
There are alternative Suburban Lifestyle Dreams. I even wrote a book about them. https://t.co/F24zdL1uQ2
— Amanda Kolson Hurley (@amandakhurley) July 29, 2020
I have a dream that America's suburbs and cities will one day allow housing that is affordable to people of all incomes.
— Jenny Schuetz (@jenny_schuetz) July 29, 2020
This is incorrect. We *are* going to build housing in all communities for people of all incomes. That's how we make the tri-state region work for all of us, not just some of us. https://t.co/m5KNa65g7u
— Regional Plan (@RegionalPlan) July 29, 2020
If I get to* return to teaching planning classes, this will be be useful for a whole module on white flight, racist housing policy, broken windows policing, wealth inequality via home ownership and estate law, and more ... pic.twitter.com/CzR2EYgtqf
— Tara Goddard (@DrTaraGoddard) July 29, 2020
Leaders in our #Phoenix community are desperately trying to change the NIMBYism associated with "low income" or "affordable" housing. Teachers, starting police officers, your favorite bartender, etc. likely qualify for this type of housing. https://t.co/WgIEK2jhYp
— Jessica Boehm (@jboehm_NEWS) July 29, 2020
This is your reminder that low income housing doesn't affect property values or crime. In fact, studies show that new low income housing actually can increase property values. This trope is based completely on stereotypes about affordable housing and the people who live in it. https://t.co/xNa0c5tq3J
— J. Rosie Tighe (@jrosietighe) July 29, 2020
Rescinding the AFFH rule perfectly highlights the trifecta of the Trump presidency: racism, incompetence, dysfunction. (1/5) https://t.co/68q32YprCv
— Shaun Donovan (he/him/his) (@ShaunDonovanNYC) July 29, 2020