“Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!” he continued, referring to the Obama-era policy.
The 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule requires local governments to proactively ensure fair housing in order to receive federal housing funding. It was designed to give more teeth to the Fair Housing Act in combating segregation and was praised by civil rights groups at the time.
But conservative critics and the Trump administration decried the parameters as unnecessarily laborious. The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week a replacement policy that essentially leaves localities to self-certify that housing is affordable and free of discrimination — a significant scale-down of the Obama-era rule.
“After reviewing thousands of comments on the proposed changes to the [AFFH] regulation, we found it to be unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with, too often resulting in funds being steered away from communities that need them most,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said last week.
Trump has been giving more of his attention to the suburbs ahead of the November presidential election, portraying rival Democratic candidate Joe Biden as hostile to suburbanites. He accused Biden and other Democrats of trying to “abolish” suburbs and tweeted Thursday at “The Suburban Housewives of America” that “Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!”
Still, Trump’s call out toward suburbanites doesn’t appear to be driving up his appeal. Polls have Trump trailing behind Biden in the suburbs by large margins, and suburban areas largely carried Democrats to a majority in the House in 2018.
Trump’s Wednesday tweets were immediately met with stiff criticism.
“Oh my. I mean, it’s not even a dog whistle anymore,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) wrote on Twitter. “Our President is now a proud, vocal segregationist.”
Former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, who served as HUD secretary under Obama when the 2015 AFFH rule was created, also shot back at Trump, tweeting: “Just because people are poor doesn’t mean they’re bad. That’s obvious to most, but not to bigots like” Trump.