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Levin and Guest Discuss Biden Plan That Could Rezone Suburbs Based On Race and Status

By John Jakubisin | July 27, 2020 | 4:22pm EDT
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Conservative commentator Mark Levin and his guest honed in on a plan of presidential candidate Joe Biden that could allow the federal government to rezone suburbs based on criteria like race and economic status on Sunday's “Life, Liberty & Levin." 

Levin and Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Policy Center, reviewed the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) mandate, a mandate that Biden would re-institute to its full potential if elected. 

“The AFFH will allow the feds to push local governments into regional governing consortia," Kurtz said. "It will try to create a layer of government in between the federal government and the local government, a layer of government that corresponds to your greater metropolitan area.”

“So if you are in, say, Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia, it will try to remove your governing responsibilities and hand them over to the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, which will probably end up taking a chunk of your tax money.” 

AFFH is based on a clause in the 1968 Fair Housing Act (FHA), an act which prohibits housing discrimination.

Levin pointed out the reach of AFFH, saying, “I suspect they’re going to need to keep a lot of data on what’s going on with schools, where houses are built, what kind of houses are built, who lives in these houses, what kind of density you have in a particular area and on and on and on and on.”

“They will force your locality, your county, or your municipality to fill out a very detailed demographic form,” Kurtz added. “And you're going to have to list where everyone in your jurisdiction lives according to their economic status, according to race, according to ethnicity, if they’re immigrants -- according to national origin, according to English language proficiency, according to handicap status.”

Kurtz asserted that misrepresentation of data reported could lead to litigation.

“If you are sued, that would give the feds an additional lever, say, to force you to go into a regional governmental consortium to force you to remove your zoning and make it the way the feds want, to force you to spend tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars on high-density, low-income housing.”

Below is a transcript of the segment:

Kurtz: "The AFFH will allow the feds to push local governments into regional governing consortia." Now what does that bit of gobbledy-gook actually mean? It means that it will try to create a layer of government in between the federal government and the local government, a layer of government that corresponds to your greater metropolitan area. So if you are in, say, Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia, it will try to remove your governing responsibilities and hand them over to the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, which will probably end up taking a chunk of your tax money. So there’s a lot in AFFH. 

Levin: I suspect they’re going to need to keep a lot of data on what’s going on with schools, where houses are built, what kind of houses are built, who lives in these houses, what kind of density you have in a particular area and on and on and on and on. And these federal bureaucrats are going to be doing it out of the HUD [Housing and Urban Development] building as opposed to people in communities going to their zoning boards, going to their commissioners, going to these city councils, is that correct?

Kurtz: That's absolutely correct, Mark. And here’s how it really will work. The feds will provide some basic census data to the localities that apply for various grants from the federal government, but really then they will force your locality, your county, or your municipality to fill out a very detailed demographic form. And you're going to have to list where everyone in your jurisdiction lives according to their economic status, according to race, according to ethnicity, if they’re immigrants -- according to national origin, according to English language proficiency, according to handicap status. And there are, and I could go on, and I will go on, and explain how that will be used by the feds. But one crucial thing you need to know is, when you fill out that form, if you check the wrong boxes, you could be opening yourself up to a lawsuit as a locality and that would have tremendous negative effects and we’ve already seen a kind of run-through of this in Westchester County in New York State, which the Obama administration used as a kind of dry run for its AFFH rule. So if you are sued, that would give the feds an additional lever, say, to force you to go into a regional governmental consortium, to force you to remove your zoning and make it the way the feds want, to force you to spend tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars on high-density, low-income housing. There's almost nothing they can’t do once they scare you into a lawsuit and if you fill out that form the wrong way, you are really opening yourself up to a suit. 

John Jakubisin is a CNSNews intern and currently studies at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia; he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in political science and economics. At Christendom College, he is a vice president within the student activities council.

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