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Trump Finally Follows Through on Threat to Gut Obama-Era Fair Housing Rule

It's not clear if President Trump is aware that his administration has been working to rescind the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule since 2018, but he's recently doubled down on messaging that pit suburbs against the Fair Housing Act.
July 28, 2020, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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HUD Secretary
Joseph Sohm

"With President Trump facing sagging support in the suburbs, his administration on Thursday targeted an Obama-era affordable housing regulation, the latest in a series of appeals to white voters’ fears of crime and declining property values," report Chris Megerian, Liam Dillon, and Eli Stokols for the Los Angeles Times.

"The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it would scrap a regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing," marking a final escalation to threats made by the Trump administration since the election to roll back the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, approved by the Obama administration to strengthen the Fair Housing Act of 1968. 

"The new regulation from the Trump administration would allow local governments much broader latitude in deciding if their policies were racially discriminatory," according to the article.

The Los Angeles Times coverage includes discussion of the political context for the announcement, which includes previous criticisms of the president's recent statement and action on the AFFH as a straw man intended to sow division and marshal voter support ahead of the November election. 

Meanwhile, reactions to the Trump administration's actions against the AFFH have drawn mixed results even from conservative audiences. Stanley Kurtz, whose June article in the National Review inspired this sudden spate  of interest from the Trump administration, spoke glowingly of the decision in a new article for the same publication. Writing for The Week, Bonnie Kristian, pushed back on the fear mongering inherent in Trump's recent threats about the impending Democratic threat to the suburbs, making the case that the suburbs are actually a symbol of exactly the kind of government intervention conservatives are supposed to oppose. Charles Marohn made a similar argument recently, regarding the exclusionary zoning practices which serves as the regulatory backbone of almost every community in the country.

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Published on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in Los Angeles Times
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