Trump Appeals to Progressive Voters With Promise To Defend Suburbs Against New Housing Development
In an apparent bid to shore up his support among progressives in the San Francisco Bay Area, President Donald Trump is promising to prevent the construction of new low-income housing in suburban neighborhoods.
“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,” Trump said on Twitter, referencing his recent repeal of the Obama-era affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) rule. “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”
…Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020
The old “Obama-Biden” AFFH rule did not, in fact, force suburban communities to allow low-income housing construction. Instead, the rather obscure regulation required states and localities who received federal housing funds to report on obstacles to fair housing.
The substance of that now-replaced rule is likely much less important to Trump than its symbolism as an example of the federal government forcing change onto localities that don’t want it.
In that sense, the president shares a lot in common with many of his progressive detractors in deeply blue areas of the country who are also happy to use regulation to keep new housing at bay, and who organize against attempts from higher levels of government to force them to accept new development.
This would include places like Lafayette, California, a wealthy San Francisco suburb nestled in Contra Costa County, where 69 percent of voters supported Hillary Clinton in 2016. Its residents fight t
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