WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 31, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — On Thursday, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a Senate bill similar to Congressman Gosar’s Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act, H.R. H.R. 1995, which would prohibit the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from implementing a new regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH).
After introducing the bill, Senator Lee stated, “Every American should be free to choose where to live, and every community should be free to zone its neighborhoods and compete for new residents according to its distinct values. The diversity of America’s neighborhoods – from dense cities to wide-open rural communities to suburbs in between – is a treasure that we need to preserve. We don’t need a National Zoning Board. Washington should let Americans ‘govern local.’”
Senator Lee was joined by Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) as co-sponsors of this legislation.
The full text of Congressman Gosar’s Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act can be found HERE.
Congressman Gosar’s legislation rejects HUD’s overreach by requiring a withdrawal of the AFFH Rule and the Assessment Tool used to implement the rule. Furthermore, the bill includes an important federalism provision that requires HUD to consult with local governments and local communities for the purposes of furthering the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by means other than top-down federal regulations. More information about H.R. 1995 can be found HERE.
On July 8, 2015, the Obama Administration, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced a new regulation known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. The final rule was subsequently published in the federal register on July 16, 2015, and will take effect 30 days after this publication.
The AFFH rule seeks to use the disparate impact legal theory to justify social engineering of local neighborhoods. It would do so by withholding Community Development Block Grant funds from towns and cities unless they meet utopian standards of integration based on sex, income, religion, race and other federally protected demographics.
HUD is essentially creating a set of rules and regulations by which communities must conform or face losing out on tens of millions of dollars in grant money annually. Furthermore, this new mandate will result in increased local taxes, depress property values and cause further harm to impoverished communities that urgently need these funds. The damage to local communities that will result from the AFFH rule is well documented and further evidenced in publications about the regulation including the PAHRA Monitor, Investor’s Business Daily and the New York Daily.
The House of Representatives has already voted twice to defund the AFFH rule by passing Congressman Gosar’s amendments during consideration of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bills for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 (Roll Call Vote no. 285 from the 113th Congress and Roll Call Vote no. 311 from the 114th Congress). More information on those votes can be found HERE and HERE.
Congressman Gosar wrote and op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily titled Latest Federal Mandate On ‘Fair Housing’ Is Anything But, which can be read HERE.
The 23 Cosponsors of H.R. 1995 that support the Gosar legislation include: Brian Babin, Marsha Blackburn, Jim Bridenstine, Steve Chabot, Rick Crawford, Scott DesJarlais, John Duncan (TN), Stephen Fincher, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Glenn Grothman, Doug LaMalfa, Mia Love, Cynthia Lummis, David Joyce, Thomas Massie, Tom McClintock, Ted Poe, Pete Sessions, Lamar Smith, Randy Weber, Lynn Westmoreland, Ted Yoho.
Contact: Steven D. Smith
Steven.Smith (at) mail.house (dot) gov