Trump claims decision to repeal fair housing rule will boost home prices, lower crime
President Trump claimed Wednesday that his recent decision to replace an Obama administration rule targeting racial housing discrimination would boost suburban housing prices and reduce crime.
In a pair of Wednesday tweets, Trump asserted that his efforts to prevent low-income housing from being built in affluent areas would prevent suburbanites from being “bothered or financially hurt” by a rule intended to expand access to housing for minorities.
“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 tweeted.
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
“Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”
Trump was referring to his decision last week to repeal the Obama administration’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. That rule, written under the Fair Housing Act, required local governments to prove that federal subsidies for housing projects would not go to developments with zoning laws or other regulations that are effectively discriminatory to minorities, particularly Black and Hispanic Americans.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday repealed the AFFH with a measure that gave local governments significantly more flexibility and benefit of the doubt to establish their own fair housing guidelines. While the Obama rule previously required localities to draw up plans to address housing discrimination, the Trump administration gutted it more than two years ago.
HUD claimed that the original rule effectively stripped local control over regulations and drowned localities with onerous and unnecessary paperwork.
Trump, however, has pitched the repeal as a way to “preserve” suburbs, drawing on the long history of resistance to fair housing and low-income housing projects in affluent areas, typically along racist and classist lines.
Opponents of efforts to expand access to housing beyond the well-off and white have long claimed that such projects would harm property values and increase crime. Studies have found that investments in low-income housing typically reduce or do not increase crime while reducing segregation, but may cause homeowners to sell for a cheaper price when such projects are built in affluent areas.
Trump’s Wednesday claims are his latest attempt to appeal to suburban voters with less than 100 days until Election Day. The president has baselessly claimed for months that the election of former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, would bring a total destruction of law, order and the economy, particularly in suburban areas.
“The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article,” Trump tweeted, referring to an op-ed written in support of his repeal of the AFFH rule. “Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!”