Washington's 'Fair Housing' Assault on Local Zoning


[EDITOR'S NOTE: If you read this article carefully, one of the most diverse counties in NY state has proven time after time that it has not violated Housing Laws.  Even after HUD hired its own study and proved that it was not discriminating, HUD didn't care and withheld $17 million of essential funding from the region.  For all those that say that cities still have local control, this is a huge wake-up call.  This is what we forecast will happen under Plan Bay Area.]

Here are a couple of excerpts but you should sincerely read the article (link below):

"Do you think it is a good idea to give the Department of Housing and Urban Development unchecked power to put an apartment building in your neighborhood? HUD has proposed a new rule that could do just that.



HUD's power grab is based on the mistaken belief that zoning and discrimination are the same. They are not. Zoning restricts what can be built, not who lives there.


As required by HUD, Westchester County analyzed all 853 local zoning districts in February 2012. It found no evidence of exclusionary practices based on race or ethnicity. The county's conclusion was supported in a separate analysis by John R. Nolon, an affordable-housing expert at Pace University's Land Use Law Center.

HUD rejected the findings and cut off $17 million of federal funds to the county. The county prepared seven additional analyses, each one exploring more data as demanded by HUD. But as many times as HUD attempted to move the goal posts, the findings did not change. There is no evidence that zoning requirements on things like building size and height are racially exclusionary.

Last month HUD finally demanded—without presenting any facts—that the county accept its conclusion that there is exclusionary zoning in Westchester as a condition of releasing the funds. The agency's demand flies in the face of the July 31 "report card" issued by James E. Johnson, the federal monitor hired by HUD to oversee its 2009 affordable housing settlement. Mr. Johnson found no evidence of exclusionary zoning based on race or ethnicity.

Westchester is proudly the fourth most diverse countyty in New York in its population of African-Americans and Hispanics. Hispanics are the county's fastest-growing ethnic group, increasing in every community in the last census. The number of African-Americans continues to grow in contrast to an exodus from many areas in the Northeast. But HUD won't budge. Its vision for remaking neighborhoods depends on gaining control of local zoning.