Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

More race-based control of housing from HUD

this time for criminals.  

So far, HUD has only used "disparate impact" to claim that certain well-off communities have discriminated against protected classes of racial minorities in the location of their public housing projects.  Westchester County in New York was hit with a suit for discrimination by disparate impact even though there was no intent to discriminate and no act that led to any discrimination occurred.  But because more minority races use public housing, the impact of where they lived was a burden on them more than whites.

Now HUD Secretary Julian Castro extends his regulatory reach into rental housing "biases" by claiming denial of housing for people with criminal records is discrimination.  The Fair Housing Act maintains that protected class status is for race, religion, sex, disability, familial status and national origin.  Some states and cities have added to the federal, legal definition for their jurisdictions, but having a criminal record has is not protected because it involves a voluntary, illegal, action on the part of a person, not the status of who the person is.

What is HUD under President Obama trying to accomplish?  

The government now controls local land use and zoning decisions using the illegitimate reasoning of "disparate impact."  Renters are dependent on government and have no choice about where to live.  

If the Obama administration wanted low-income people who depend on subsidized housing to have a choice about where THEY want to live, the government would issue them Section 8 vouchers for housing.  But the government does NOT want its dependents to decide any such thing for themselves because a great many minority families would choose to live in neighborhoods where their minority was the majority.  That goes against the top-down government plan of bringing the city to the suburbs.  If low-income families wanted to live in these areas, Section 8 vouchers could handle that.

Why attack rental housing providers?  

Because they are businesses and easy to regulate and control where private homes are not.  It isn't about race, it's about control.  Control of health care, control of energy, transportation, land use, water, housing... what's next, food?  If suburbs are to be broken and integrated into the city, they need a path.  

HUD wants to recreate cities and suburbs in a new way. 

How?  Continue reading future posts on the planned, political undoing of the Suburbs.  Deny it if you must, but those rose-colored glasses are breaking.

Something tells me the rules Secretary Castro claims are necessary to prevent discrimination will never affect him.

Choice belongs to the political elite.  

Blanket bans on criminal convictions violate Fair Housing Act, HUD says  Oregonlive, April 4, 2016 By Luke Hammill  

Julian Castro now serves as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which ruled Monday that blanket bans on criminal convictions violate the Fair Housing Act.

Landlords who institute blanket bans on tenants with prior arrests or criminal convictions are in violation of the Fair Housing Act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a document released Monday.

The 1968 law prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics like race, religion, sex or national origin. Having a criminal record is not one of the protected characteristics, but blanket bans on arrests and convictions violate the act "because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system," wrote Helen R. Kanovsky, general counsel for the federal housing agency, in the document.

"Criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African Americans and Hispanics," Kanovsky wrote.

In addition to banning intentional housing discrimination, Kanovsky wrote, the Fair Housing Act also prohibits "practices that have an unjustified discriminatory effect because of race, national origin or other protected characteristics."

The agency's decision comes amid a national re-shaping of the politics surrounding the criminal justice system. Portland and Oregon last year joined the growing number of cities and states to pass "ban the box" legislation prohibiting employers from asking about a prospective employee's criminal history on a job application. And prison reform won rare bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate last fall.

Links to other housing related articles in the Oregonian:  

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