0198_Part 4_HUD/AFFH_ What is learned from the Westchester County NY 10-year incident_ HUD/AFFH forced excessive additional cost and imposed unwanted actions

April 19, 2017
Donna Jack

A Video:_AFFH in Five Minutes
For more information about HUD/AFFH, see Blogs 195, 196, and 197
Decision & History_County of Westchester v. HUD – Decided September 25, 2015
(27 pages)

What is learned from Westchester County New York’s 10-year incident? (See Blog 196)

The federal government can’t interfere with our planning and zoning, unless our commissioners give them control by accepting the grant money.  But if we accept the grant money, controls shift to the federal government.  So don’t apply for and accept the HUD/AFFH grant money.

Ask our County Commissioners to vote against accepting HUD/AFFH grant money.

Over 10 years ago, Westchester County New York signed up for the grant money.  Then a community activist group challenged them.  Westchester asked HUD for help, after which their serious troubles began.

To date, our commissioners have had to adjust their local plans to some degree, to comply with past money accepted for  “affirmatively furthering fair housing.”

Now HUD has developed (by experimenting with other counties and cities) how to take over more control of our neighborhoods, to make suburban neighborhoods “equivalent” to urban neighborhoods – to make suburbs “fair.”

Accepting HUD/AFFH grant money means that in some instances, our commissioners will no longer work with us to protect our property rights and develop our communities the way we want them developed.  The federal government will become increasingly our county commissioners.

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Ten-year ordeal for Westchester County New York,
and the implications and change in HUD/AFFH.

An excerpt from Anthony, John, Agency Tyranny:  How to STOP HUD’s Devastating Attack on Property Rights  (Sustainable Freedom Lab LLC), 2016, p. 26  .  NOTE:  You can have the 62-page book emailed to  you free at:  www.sustainablefreedomlab.org/Agency-Tyranny — You can find the following excerpts on pp. 27-28:  [1]

“There are three relevant points in this case.

First, the court ordered Westchester to pay $30 million from their own county budget to build 630 of the minority homes and affirmatively further fair housing.

Second, HUD failed in their attempt to prove that Westchester engaged in any discrimination.

 “As the court notes :

“‘It bears emphasizing that this decision does not mean that any of Westchester County’s municipalities violated the Fair Housing Act or engaged in discrimination on the basis of race. In short, there has been no finding, at any point, that Westchester actually engaged in housing discrimination.’

“This is a critical point. Even though the discrimination charges failed, the False Claims Act charges were spectacularly successful.

“The third is the most important lesson for other HUD entitlement communities. The attorneys used Westchester’s False Claims Act lawsuit as a test case to use in bringing other HUD recipients into compliance with AFFH.

“After the 2009 settlement, then HUD deputy secretary Ron Sims made HUD’s intentions clear :

’We’re clearly messaging other jurisdictions across the country that there has been a significant change in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and we’re going to ask them to pursue similar goals as well,’”

HUD wasted no time pursuing those “goals”. Westchester’s False Claims Act (FCA) settlement became the foundation for a new HUD ruling, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and other cities were already in the agency’s sights.” [1]

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WE AREN’T SAFE FROM THE OVERREACH OF HUD
EVEN THOUGH WE AREN’T UNDER “THE NEW RULES”

Note:  Even though the new ruling that is talked about in the linked video technically doesn’t apply to us now – the precedent in the 10-year case in Westchester County New York, and other locations throughout the country, show that

HUD/AFFH has been

     a.  holding those who accept the grant money to draconian limitless requirements under “Affirmatively Furthering” – requirements that find every county falling short,
b.  demanding grant money be returned to HUD, in some cases, if a county or city fail in any way
c.  forcing local government (county commissioners) to override their local planning and zoning at great expense — in order to comply with federal HUD planning and zoning requirements (social justice goals).
d.  pushing “social justice”  (Quote from HUD/US website — https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD : “As faith and community organizations seek to serve their members and work for social justice in their communities, the protections of the Fair Housing Act are key tools that help individuals and families find homes without fear of discrimination.”  [Note:  this includes forcing communities to place government-subsidized housing into their neighborhoods, in areas chosen by HUD.])
e.  requiring that even private donated money fall under the affirmatively furthering fair housing obligation. (part of the “new” ruling 2013) [2]

 If our Commissioners accept the grant money, they agree to open-ended requirements in the application they submit — and they turn over much of their job to the federal government. 

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FOOTNOTES:

[1]   Anthony, John, Agency Tyranny:  How to STOP HUD’s Devastating Attack on Property Rights  (Sustainable Freedom Lab LLC), 2016, p. 27-28.NOTE:  You can have the 62-page book emailed to  you free at:  www.sustainablefreedomlab.org/Agency-Tyranny
[2]   Anthony, John, Agency Tyranny:  How to STOP HUD’s Devastating Attack on Property Rights  (Sustainable Freedom Lab LLC), 2016, pp. 33-34  “Attorneys Allen, Relman, Dane and Colfax explain:  ‘although the grantee’s AFFH obligation arises in connection with the receipt of Federal funding, its AFFH obligation is not restricted to the design and operation of HUD-funded programs at the State or local level.  The AFFH obligation extends to all housing and housing-related activities in the grantee’s jurisdictional area whether publicly or privately funded.’ [3]
“If your community accepts a HUD grant to build affordable housing and a private citizen donates money to improve the parks in your community tat private money falls under the affirmatively furthering fair housing obligation.”  [3]

Also see:

Briefing on the Proposed HUD Rule Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
____________________________

Final new AFFH ruling (2015)

Today, HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced the finalization of the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. A front-page article preemptively defending the move appears in today’s Washington Post. The final rule is 377 pages, vastly longer than the preliminary version of the rule promulgated in 2013.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/420896/massive-government-overreach-obamas-affh-rule-out-stanley-kurtz

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