Another day, another Obama-era effort to make the United States a better place undermined by the Trump administration. Up now, segregation. Yes, the Trump Department of Housing and Urban Development—the one headed by Ben Carson—is delaying a rule intended to push communities to not just prohibit housing discrimination but to take action to reduce segregation. The Trump-Carson HUD isn’t (yet) repealing the rule, but delaying it from taking effect until 2020 is still a major step backward:
The 2015 rule — the “affirmatively furthering fair housing rule” — required communities to analyze policies that contribute to segregation. These might include locating low-income housing projects only in black neighborhoods, or barring multifamily housing from neighborhoods with good schools. The rule broadly required analysis of housing opportunities available not just to minorities, but also to the disabled, the poor and other disadvantaged groups.
The new HUD notice reiterates that local communities still have a legal obligation to further fair housing, and to pledge that they’re doing so. But a reversion to the policies in place before the 2015 rule makes critics fear that the government will go back to a time when it turned a blind eye to segregation, giving taxpayer dollars to communities actively thwarting a central goal of the Fair Housing Act.
“It says ‘segregate as usual,’ ” said Myron Orfield, a law professor at the University of Minnesota.
As a reminder, Donald Trump essentially began his real estate career being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination.