Category Archives: Housing and Urban Development

Tom DeWeese: THE GROWING ASSAULT ON PRIVATE PROPERTY – ARE SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES “RACIST?”

by Tom DeWeese

One of the main indicators used by economists to measure the health of the nation’s economy is housing starts – the number of private homes being built around the nation. In 2018 housing starts fell in all four regions of the nation, representing the biggest drop since 2016.

While many economists point to issues such as higher material costs as a reason for the drop in housing starts, a much more ominous reason may be emerging. Across the nation, city councils and state legislatures are beginning to remove zoning protections for single-family neighborhoods, claiming they are racist discrimination designed to keep certain minorities out of such neighborhoods. In response to these charges some government officials are calling for the end of single-family homes in favor of multiple family apartments.

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: the city council is moving to remove zoning that protects single-family neighborhoods, instead planning to add apartment buildings in the mix. The mayor actually said such zoning was “devised as a legal way to keep black Americans and other minorities from moving into certain neighborhoods”. Racist, social injustice are the charges
  • Chicago, Illinois: So-called “affordable housing” advocates have filed a federal complaint against the longtime tradition of allowing City Aldermen veto power over most development proposals in their wards, charging that it promotes discrimination by keeping low-income minorities from moving into affluent white neighborhoods. Essentially the complaint seeks to remove the Aldermen’s ability to represent their own constituents.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: The NAACP filed a suit against the city charging that Section 8 public housing causes ghettos because they are all put into the same areas of town. They won the suit and now the city must spend millions of dollars to move such housing into more affluent neighborhoods. In addition, landlords are no longer permitted to ask potential tenants if they can afford the rent on their properties.
  • Oregon: Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Tina Kotek (D-Portland) is drafting legislation that would end single-family zoning in cities of 10,000 or more. She claims there is a housing shortage crisis and that economic and racial segregation are caused by zoning restrictions.

Such identical policies don’t just simultaneously spring up across the country by accident. There is a force behind it. The root of these actions are found in “fair housing” policies dictated by the federal Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD). The affected communities have all taken HUD grants. There is very specific language in those grants that suggest single family homes are a cause of discrimination. Specifically, through the HUD program called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), the agency is taking legal action against communities that use “discriminating zoning ordinances that discourage the development of affordable, multifamily housing…”. The suits are becoming a widely used enforcement tool for the agency.

To enforce its social engineering policies HUD demands the following from communities that have applied for or taken HUD grants:

  • First, HUD forces the community to complete an “Assessment of Fair Housing” to identify all “contributing factors” to discrimination. These include a complete breakdown of race, income levels, religion, and national origin of every single person living there. They use this information to determine if the neighborhood meets a preset “balance,” determined by HUD.
  • Second, HUD demands a detailed plan showing how the community intends to eliminate the “contributing factors” to this “imbalance.”
  • Once the plan is prepared, then the community is required to sign an agreement to take no actions that are “materially inconsistent with its obligation to affirmatively further fair housing.”

Americans who have grown up experiencing private home ownership as the root to personal prosperity must quickly learn of the threat of the HUD/AFFH program. They must fully understand why cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Baltimore and states like Oregon have suddenly announced actions to eliminate single-family home zoning. These cities have already taken the grant poison and must now comply. The ultimate government game is to reorganize our cities into massive urban areas where single-family neighborhoods are replaced by the Sustainable/Smart Growth model of “Stack and Pack,” wall-to-wall apartment buildings.

To the frustration of those Sustainablists determined to change our entire economic system, the legal protection of private property rights and ownership have proven to be a roadblock for implementation. New York Mayor William DeBlasio best expressed the frustration of those driving to control community development when he was quoted in New York Magazine saying, “What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it and what the rent will be.”

Most importantly, HUD and its social engineering advocates have sold these so-called sustainable policies using the well-worn excuse that such programs are simply to help lower income families to succeed. In fact, these programs are actually at the very root of why many of them are NOT succeeding.

The immediate result of eliminating single-family homes and in turn, destroying private property rights, is to degrade the property values of the homes so many have worked to build. It used to be called the American dream. Now it’s labeled racism, discrimination, and social injustice.

Eradicating poverty is the most popular excuse for the expansion of government power. Yet, it’s interesting to note that not a single government program, from the federal to the local level, offers any plan for eradicating poverty except the well-worn and unworkable scheme of wealth redistribution. After decades of following such a failed policy the only result is that we have more poor.

Today, as demonstrated in Oregon, Minneapolis, Baltimore and Chicago, we hear the claims that there is a “housing crisis” and so government must take a dramatic step to solve the very crisis is has created. As economist Thomas Sowell has said, “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

It is interesting to note that, as private property ownership shrinks under these misguided policies, so too does the nation’s wealth. Sustainable policies are at the root of nearly every local, state, and federal program. Each step diminishes individual freedom, personal and national prosperity, and the destruction of the hopes and dream of every American. The American Policy Center is determined to lead the fight to end this misnamed and disastrous ‘Sustainable’ course for our country.


APC: https://americanpolicy.org/2019/03/07/the-growing-assault-on-private-property-are-single-family-homes-racist/

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography

TOM DEWEESE: The Trump Administration Is About To Make a HUGE Mistake

The Trump Administration Is About To Make a HUGE Mistake – “ACTION ALERT!”

by Tom DeWeese

Last week the American Policy Center issued an urgent Sledgehammer Action Alert demanding that the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) immediately withdraw the nomination of Neal Rackleff as Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development.

If ratified to that position, Rackleff would oversee such programs as the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), an Obama policy that is a direct threat to private property owners and local governments.

HUD is using the program for pure social engineering to change the very culture of the nation, and destroy the concept of property ownership. In the process HUD is using law suits and intimidation to destroy the Founder’s concept of local rule that is elected by the people.

During the campaign Candidate Trump promised to end AFFH. Rackleff’s appointment to oversee this dangerous program would be a disaster. That’s because he is a partner in a Houston law firm that is a major force behind promoting such HUD grant schemes. In short, Neal Rackleff is the swamp that President Trump promised to drain!

As APC launched this action alert the response from our supporters was outstanding. Americans from across the nation quickly began to make the calls to HUD and to Congress to protest the Rackleff nomination. Reports began to come into the APC office that HUD’s phone lines were jammed and their voice mail boxes were full.  Our voice of opposition is absolutely being heard! Now we need to keep up the pressure until the nomination is withdrawn.

So today I am again issuing the action alert to media across the nation to help others learn of this fight and why it is so important.

If you have not already called — or couldn’t get through yesterday — please do so now and if the phone lines are busy, please try again every hour until you get through! For more details and a list of phone numbers for Members of Congress to call– please view the email below this message. It has all the details.

For more information on the very dangerous HUD program called AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing) please read my article, “Listen This Time or HUD Will Destroy Your City!”

Thank you!
Tom DeWeese
: President
American Policy Center

SLEDGEHAMMER ALERT!
URGENT! URGENT! URGENT
The Trump Administration Is About 
To Make a HUGE Mistake! Your Action Needed At Once!!!

President Trump promised to DRAIN THE SWAMP! Specifically President Trump promised to defund and roll back AFFH. But that may not be possible because his Administration has made a huge mistake in nominating a very bad choice to oversee these development programs.

AFFH is one of the worst assaults on local property rights and your property values. It is also the greatest threat to local home rule in communities across the nation. AFFH is being used by HUD to sue cities and put federal HUD agents in charge of local development programs. But somehow someone in the Trump Administration has nominated a man named Neal Rackleff to be the Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development at HUD. This will be the man to oversee AFFH and much more.

Why is his nomination such a mistake?

• Neal Rackleff is the former Director of Public Housing for Houston, Texas.  In that job he led the programs President Trump promised to eliminate.
• Currently Neal Rackleff is a partner of a law firm called Locke Lord. They specialize in dealing with “community and economic development, affordable housing, and municipal and public law.” In short, they are lobbyists pushing the HUD policies and grant programs onto local governments. These are basically the guys hiding in the back rooms, out of sight, spreading the poison of AFFH!
• In short, Neal Rackleff is the swamp!

HOW DID SOMEONE IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MAKE SUCH A MISTAKE IN THIS NOMINATION?

Unless his nomination is withdrawn there is no way to stop the HUD tyranny.
That’s why I need you to take immediate action.

First: Please call HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s Chief of Staff – Sheila Greenwood. She has the power to withdraw Neal Rackleff’s nomination. Tell her he has a severe conflict of interest to serve in this vital position. Tell her Neal Rackleff is the very swamp President Trump pledges to remove!! Her phone number is (202)708-2713

Second: Please call Senator Mike Crapo. He is the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee. His committee will decide on Rackleff’s nomination. Again, explain that Rackleff and his law firm create a major conflict of interest and that the nomination must be defeated. Senator Crapo’s number is (202) 224-6142. Fax (202) 228-1375.

Third: If you can, please call any or all of these Republican members of the committee with the same message:
Richard Shelby R AL phone (202) 224-5744 fax (202) 224-3416
Bob Corker R TN phone (202) 224-3344 fax (202) 228-0566
Pat Toomey R PA phone (202) 224-4254 fax (202) 228-0284
Dean Heller R NV phone (202) 224-6244 fax (202) 228-6753
Tim Scott R SC phone (202) 224-6121 fax (202) 228-5143
Ben Sasse R NE phone (202) 224- 4224 fax (202) 228-9642
Tom Cotton R AR phone (202) 224-2353 fax (479) 927-1092
Mike Rounds R SD phone (202) 224-5842 fax (202) 224-7482
David Perdue R GA phone (202) 224-3521 fax (202) 228-1031
Thom Tillis R NC phone (202) 224-6342 fax (202) 228-2563
John Kennedy R LA (202) 224-4623 fax (202) 228-0447

APC: https://americanpolicy.org/

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography

Obama’s last ditch regulations that devastate 
your property rights

Obama’s last ditch regulations that devastate 
your property rights –In past years, this may not have been problematic since HUD generally left planning up to local communities.”

by John Anthony

In the final days of Obama’s presidency two rules slid under the radar that drive explosive local planning and building costs, transfer control of certain grant-related planning to the government, and render local officials helpless to combat them.

 Federal agencies often enact onerous regulations by couching them in dry sounding names, or titles that appear so munificent only a dark-hearted bean counter would question them.



The first regulation appeared on October 28th of 2016, as Americans focused on the discovery of Hillary-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer. The administration issued a new rule requiring HUD assisted or financed new housing in flood plains to be elevated 2 – 3 feet above the “base flood elevation.”

The rule also applies to “substantial improvements” of existing homes and those covered by HUD’s mortgage insurance. 

The rule, “Flood Plain Management and Protection of Wetlands; Minimum Standards for Flood Hazard Exposure; Building to the Federal Flood Risk Management in Standard,” aligns the agency with Obama’s executive order 13690 which redefined a flood plain to accommodate “climate change.”

Developers argue the rule sharply increases the costs of single and multi-family homes, making home construction less viable. The National Association of Homebuilders notes that President Obama’s EO provides no “scientific or technical documentation”, “no cost-benefit analysis and no floodplain maps.”

In fact, under the order, each agency has the authority to define a flood plain based on its own interpretation of climate change science.

 In their rule, HUD addressed the documentation issue by referencing NOAA’s “2012 Global Sea Rise Scenarios for the United States.” But the controversial report has since been contested and NOAA’s own credibility has suffered from careless documentation and questionable data manipulation.

For homeowners in flood plains, even though HUD’s sources may be unreliable, the consequences for failure to follow the agency’s demands can be hard to escape. Once ensnared in HUD’s grants or financing, there is little local officials can do to mitigate the potentially needless additional construction costs and financial burdens to residents.

The second obstructive rule creates a legal basis for HUD to investigate and potentially sue communities that fail to address climate change in their grant-related planning activities.

 With its tortuous name, “Modernizing HUD’s Consolidated Planning Process to Narrow the Digital Divide and Increase Resilience to Natural Hazards,” the rule forces communities that accept HUD grants under the agency’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation to predict how climate change will affect their neighborhoods. They must then design consolidated plans that reduce the “impacts of climate change on low and moderate income residents.”
 
Like AFFH, this rule fails to define what the agency means by climate change nor how grant recipients are to respond to the increased hazards.

In past years, this may not have been problematic since HUD generally left planning up to local communities. Since 2011, HUD has initiated an unprecedented number of legal actions that have smacked grant recipients including Marin County, CA, Westchester County, NY, Nassau County, NY, Whitehall, PA and many others across the nation for failing to comply with poorly defined demands.

The agency’s actions have led to the loss of grant money, the imposition of massive financial penalties, and the ‘forced’ acceptance of HUD’s “Voluntary Compliance Agreement” that gives the agency even greater control over local land use actions.

 The issue of HUD’s climate change demands in itself is problematic. At best, catastrophic man-made climate change is an idea that has yet to support its originator’s predictions.  At worst, it is a politically driven tool to force socio-economic change based on mass distribution of easily manipulated data.

There is simply no way for a community to plan for a hazard whose definitions are malleable, but whose failure to address them are subject to exorbitant fines and mandates. 

Communities deserve greater clarity about HUD’s climate change expectations, and verifiable data before diving into costly and potentially endless federal campaigns to address a problem that may not exist.

There is good news and a caution. In my report for North Carolina Representative Mark Meadow’s office I did recommend both rules be reversed by the 115th Congress. There is good reason to believe that will happen. Congressman Meadows is the Chairman of the Freedom Caucus, and has included the reversal of these and other regulations as a front-line effort.

Still, this does not relieve our job as community members to work with our local officials and inform them of these rules and begin weaning off federal grant money.

 Call your congressional representatives and tell them to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to remove HUD’s regulations on Floodplain Management (81 FR 74967) and on Modernizing HUD’s Consolidated Planning (FR 5891-F-02.)





About the Author: John Anthony, Founder Sustainable Freedom Lab John Anthony is a nationally acclaimed speaker, researcher and writer. Mr. Anthony is the former Director of Sales and Marketing for Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc.  In 1989, he founded Corporate Measures, LLC, a management development firm. In 2012, Mr. Anthony turned his attention to community issues including the balance between federal agency regulations and local autonomy.

In January 2016, Mr. Anthony was a guest at the prestigious Rutgers University School of Management Fellowship Honoring Dr. Louis Kelso.  In March 2016, he was the keynote speaker on HUD and Property Rights at the Palmetto Panel at Clemson University.

JOHN ANTHONY: HUD NEEDS FAITH INITIATIVES TO SHRINK POVERTY

HUD Needs Faith Initiatives to Shrink Poverty –The theory goes that by living in more affluent areas, the success of the well-off will carry over to those who are struggling.

”

by John Anthony

Since the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has expanded its mandate to enforce these laws by labeling everything that is not equal, from the educational experience and housing, to the relative wealth of your residential zip code, as discriminatory.

HUD, formed as part of President Johnson’s “Great Society,” has assumed the role of lifting the poor from poverty.  A “great” cause perhaps, but one which the agency is ill-equipped to administer.

 HUD employs initiatives like “Move to Opportunity” and “socioeconomic diversity” to pull low-income families out of poverty…by moving them.

The theory goes that by living in more affluent areas, the success of the well-off will carry over to those who are struggling.

 Soon to be HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, in a 2015 op-ed, compared the Obama administration’s efforts to the “failure of school busing.” He is right.

 Relocating low-income families as if they were hair plugs in a federally funded transplant operation does not grow prosperity.

Just ask the families in East Palo Alto, California where students have been shipped into tony Silicon Valley for nearly a quarter century. At best the results are mixed and decades later, classmates still hang out with their friends from the old neighborhood. 

HUD’s upward mobility programs are bound to fail because they contain no mechanism for helping people build economic success.

Rather than accept the fundamental truth that mental attitude and job opportunities are key to financial advancement, the agency instead uses its own circular logic. HUD concludes that financial lack is the result of discrimination, and reasons it is the discrimination that prevents the poor from living where there is less financial lack. Hence their solution, move them “to opportunity.”

HUD’s anti-poverty approach is reminiscent of Mark Twain’s old truism, “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” To HUD, armed with civil rights law, everything looks like discrimination.

 But communities are already beginning to eliminate poverty using faith based programs that help people get jobs and leave discrimination in the rear view window.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pastor Jerome Smith is working with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) to develop the Joseph Project. Sen. Johnson, formerly a successful business owner, knows that good paying jobs are critical if people are to exit poverty. But, good jobs require solid training and emotional fitness.

 The Joseph Project teaches class members from low-income communities the fundamentals of communication, resume completion, and how to present themselves at the hiring interview.

Pastor Smith is a street-wise, high-energy, speaker who connects with students through his emotion-filled messages that include spiritualism, tough love and self-help. Instructor Scott Bolstad ducks his head entering doorways. The big man hammers home the ABC’s of landing that new job with gutsy straight talk and active role-playing that engages the students and brings them back to class on time.  Scott expects no less.

 By the end of a single week, the class is a team.

The Joseph Project has a placement record that would be the envy of most professional job firms. As of this writing, 76% of graduates found better paying jobs than before taking the classes, and once hired, their retention rate is 70%. 

I visited with Ron, Pastor and Scott in February. We will be working together to help launch the Miss Mary Project in Chattanooga, TN.

In addition to interviewing and soft-skills, the Miss Mary Project will also provide training in budgeting, building savings, and financial responsibility. Students learn that property rights include the money they earn and the home they one day will own, and why it is important to be wary of programs that limit the use of personal property.

The Miss Mary Project provides mentors and a long-term follow-up program to help graduates remain committed to their own financial and spiritual success.
 
Finally, we show students why no one can be independent until they are free of the government. For those used to accepting federal help, this is a new message, but one we find they appreciate. By increasing voucher values, food stamps and free programs, HUD does more to institutionalize dependence than to foster upward mobility.

The real key to prosperity is to help people stand on their own so they do not need federal help. 

Programs like The Joseph Project and the Miss Mary Project create real sustainable success that can blossom into prosperity and change lives. If HUD will use their vast communications network to support those community efforts, we will shrink poverty.




About the Author: John Anthony, Founder Sustainable Freedom Lab John Anthony is a nationally acclaimed speaker, researcher and writer. Mr. Anthony is the former Director of Sales and Marketing for Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc.  In 1989, he founded Corporate Measures, LLC, a management development firm. In 2012, Mr. Anthony turned his attention to community issues including the balance between federal agency regulations and local autonomy.

In January 2016, Mr. Anthony was a guest at the prestigious Rutgers University School of Management Fellowship Honoring Dr. Louis Kelso.  In March 2016, he was the keynote speaker on HUD and Property Rights at the Palmetto Panel at Clemson University.

John Anthony: This Happens if Trump Fails to Rein in HUD

This Happens if Trump Fails to Rein in HUD –Rather than address the community’s worries about crime, attorneys and HUD dismissed that issue as racist.”

by John Anthony

If you want to know what will happen to your hometown if Trump allows the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue its devastating control of local rule, look at Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania. It is the latest community to surrender to HUD’s aggressive tactics.

Much of the chaos we see in America today is designed to stop President Trump from dismantling the federal system of rampant waste, dishonesty, and bullying. The largest “swamp” he must drain, is the embedded federal bureaucracy.

In theory, at least, we can “fire” politicians every two, four, and six years. But federal agency employees can linger for decades, beneath the radar, issuing guidance documents on little understood regulations that are now devastating our communities and property rights.


That is why the administration must work closely with Congress to pass the House and Senate bills, titled, the “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017”. Once signed by the President, the new law will outlaw HUD’s worst offenders, its “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) regulation.

 AFFH uses legal actions against communities that accept popular HUD grants, to force them into a bizarre, centrally managed program of regionalism and forced socio-economic integration.

AFFH use of litigation threats is becoming a widespread enforcement tool for the agency.

 Whitehall Township is the most recent victim of HUD’s new legal intimidation. The community, located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley, 90 miles north of Philadelphia, has its own home rule charter. They have their own Mayor, Township Commissioners, and Planning Commission.

 That autonomy and the voice of their voters, means little to HUD.

In February 2014, PathStone, a regional affordable housing developer from the Philadelphia area, proposed purchasing a parcel of land in the Township and constructing 52 (later reduced to 49) affordable housing units in the Loft Project. By May, the Planning Commission rejected the proposal.

 Rather than accept the Commission’s decision and find another location to build, in April 2015, PathStone hired a civil rights law firm who filed a complaint with HUD requesting they investigate Whitehall for a, 

“discriminatory zoning ordinance that discourages the development of affordable, multifamily housing in high opportunity areas.”

The suit claimed, 

“The Zoning Hearing Board denied zoning relief…on the basis of the race, color, national origin, familial status, and disability status of the prospective residents of the housing.”

 HUD was involved because the Township had received $395,000 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) since 2009.

But, how were the attorneys and HUD able to interpret the board’s decision as discriminatory?

 The Planning Commission argued that PathStone’s proposal only allowed for one parking space per unit, in violation of zoning laws that called for two. In addition, citizens raised concerns over reduced property values and increased crime.

 PathStone’s attorneys countered that the Commission had previously approved similar zoning relief for the same parcel for a senior citizen’s home. Therefore, they reasoned, any rejection for affordable housing is clearly the result of discrimination.

Their rationale was limited to selective portions of the voters’ issues. Rather than address the community’s worries about crime, attorneys and HUD dismissed that issue as racist. 

But safety and racism are different topics and the citizens’ fears were legitimate. While senior citizen housing rarely raises crime rates, a detailed block-by-block study shows that high density, low-income housing does attract larger numbers of homicides, no matter who lives there.

This should be a real concern for any community.

 Whitehall’s citizens were outraged at PathStone’s and HUD’s heavy-handed tactics and continued to voice their objections to the Lofts, even in the face of threatened lawsuits.

 It was a losing fight. In HUD’s view, resistance to affordable housing is in itself discriminatory and bore the threat of even greater charges.
 
By June of 2016, Whitehall finally caved to the federal government’s pressure. They altered their zoning laws to meet HUD’s demands and agreed to sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement allowing the project to advance.

As Commissioner Philip Ginder, caught between signing an oppressive agreement voters did not want; and facing mounting lawsuit threats, said before voting, “This is one of the hardest ‘yes’ votes I’ve ever made in my life.

 Among other stipulations, Whitehall ‘voluntarily’ agreed to:

 Defend their zoning changes from third party challenges and,

“…extend its full cooperation throughout the remainder of the planning, application and approval processes relevant to development of The Lofts, and throughout the infrastructure development, building permit process, construction, and initial rent-up phases of The Lofts.”
 
Whitehall had to “actively promote the Lofts by endorsing the development…”

In the biggest sting of all, HUD ordered the Township,
 
“No later than December 28, 2016, to remit the amount of Three Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($375,000.00) to Complainant PathStone.”
 
The payment was in satisfaction for,
 
“PathStone’s claims for monetary compensation, additional carrying costs, out-of pocket expenses and additional staff time related to development of The Lofts from the time of the May 20, 2014, denial by Respondent Zoning Hearing Board, as well as additional payments to the current owner of subject property to reserve PathStone’s purchase rights, the expense of reapplication for PHFA funding in 2015, additional interest on the predevelopment loan for The Lofts, and attorneys’ fees and costs.”


What happened in Whitehall Township can happen in any community that has zoning laws and accepts federal money for fair housing or urban development. Even if AFFH is overturned, as the Whitehall case shows, the agency can claim discrimination for a host of reasons that may or may not be fair to communities. This is why communities must protect their local autonomy and their right to control zoning and land use. 

Community members must stay informed and involved. Learn about HUD and how their grant requirements can alter your town, city, or county. Study the effects of regional sustainable development on local jurisdictional authority, on taxes, and on lifestyles.  Then work with local officials to protect your neighborhoods for now and for future generations.



About the Author: John Anthony, Founder Sustainable Freedom Lab John Anthony is a nationally acclaimed speaker, researcher and writer. Mr. Anthony is the former Director of Sales and Marketing for Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc.  In 1989, he founded Corporate Measures, LLC, a management development firm. In 2012, Mr. Anthony turned his attention to community issues including the balance between federal agency regulations and local autonomy.

In January 2016, Mr. Anthony was a guest at the prestigious Rutgers University School of Management Fellowship Honoring Dr. Louis Kelso.  In March 2016, he was the keynote speaker on HUD and Property Rights at the Palmetto Panel at Clemson University.

Tom DeWeese: Five Actions to Control HUD’s Tyranny

Five Actions Ben Carson Must Take to Control HUD’s Tyranny – “…the net result is more poor, bigger ghettos and less hope of improvement.”

by Tom DeWeese

After twenty four years of a relentless drive for centralized government power through Clinton, Bush and Obama, finally there is a chance to roll back some of the destruction to our Republic.  Donald Trump has an historic opportunity to fulfill his promise to “drain the swamp,” meaning getting rid of the corruption, the power grabs, and the disregard for Constitutional law.

It’s vital to understand that federal agencies are basically operating without oversight, free to create thousands of rules and regulations that become the force of law. These rules come complete with threats of legal action and intimidation. Much of this enforcement is done behind the scenes, away from the public eye. But the result can destroy property, business, and lives.

To take effective action against this situation and fulfill on his promise, President Trumps must set a very specific priority for federal policy:
1. Assure the complete protection of private property rights for every American.
2. Immediately begin the process of reigning in the power, over reach, and illegal policies of every federal agency. One of the worst offenders of federal overreach and intimidation is fully represented in the day to day operations of the agency for Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)

HUD pretends to be the agency that represents low income citizens to assure they have “fair housing” choices and are protected from discrimination. In reality HUD’s policies do massive damage to the poor and steal away their ability to improve their station. After years of HUD intervention in development policy, the net result is more poor, bigger ghettos and less hope of improvement.

If President Trump intends to end poverty and help rebuild American wealth and restore the hopes and dreams of the poor and middle class, then private property ownership is the single most effective way to achieve it. Welfare and government programs will not do it. The poor simply have no avenue available to build personal wealth. All that is provided to them is a routine government handout which assures lifelong servitude to the government.

Right now HUD is enforcing a program called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) to destroy the property rights and property values of the middle class in communities across the nation. In the campaign candidate Trump promised to end this program. Now he must do it!

Read 
Tom DeWeese’s book, “Erase: A Political Thriller”

HUD is using the program for pure social engineering to change the very culture of the nation, and destroy the concept of property ownership. In the process, AFFH is using law suits and intimidation to destroy the founder’s concept of local rule in communities by taking away their freedom of self determination and development.

Now Trump has appointed Dr. Ben Carson as the new HUD Secretary. Many say he’s not qualified to run such a massive agency. Does he understand the problems he faces with this agency’s unrelenting assault on property rights and local home rule? What must he do to reign in this renegade agency?  Here are a few immediate steps Carson can take to stop this assault on property owners and local communities, while actually helping the poor.

First. Stop the grants. HUD and other agencies dangle federal money in front of local communities as a trap to force them to impose the HUD policies. These grants come with specific strings attached that make the communities spend more money and create more rules and regulations. The end result is that local rule is compromised, property rights and values are destroyed and cities are eventually transformed into politically correct, environmentally propagandized stack and pack utopian nightmares.

To help curb this federal assault on local communities Dr. Carson must greatly diminish availability of grant programs and make sure the remaining programs are written in precise, straight forward language clearly outlining the rules for use of the grant.

Second. Stop the drive for the establishment of regional non-elected governments. They force on communities a “one-size-fits all” approach and take government further from the people. Only the representatives chosen by the people should make policy for the community.

Under AFFH rules, HUD is automatically placing communities into specific regions and enforcing a once size fits all policy. Many times local officials are not even informed that they are placed in such regions. Regionalism is the most effective tool for  controlling private property, using rules and regulations from a ruling body no one voted for and no one can challenge or questions its policies.

Third. Work with Congress to write specific legislation that limits the Agency’s ability to create regulations beyond the intended scope of the programs. Over the years Congress has deliberately written legislation in near neutral language, leaving it up to the agencies to make their own rules. This failure to define exactly the meaning and intent of the legislation has allowed the bureaucracy to impose hundreds of thousands of rules and regulations that help to destroy the economy while building the power of the agency.

Fourth. Encourage whistleblowers to report on bad policy inside the agency. Who knows the situation better? Allow them to speak. Reward them for new, workable ideas for cutting costs and streamlining agency practices. Everyone knows that the federal bureaucracy is a mess in inefficiency, overreach and waste. The agency should be rewarded for cutting its budget rather than engaging in the annual “spend it or lose it derby” that encourages waste and spending to avoid budget cuts.

Cut the HUD budget to a point that it can only conduct the programs intended, thereby stopping its over reach, using congressional oversight to assure it remains under control.

Fifth. Move immediately to close down the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. Federal agencies are to be of assistance to local communities, not a threat. Under AFFH law suits are becoming a way of life for local officials. It is the very definition of tyranny from the federal juggernaut. If Donald Trump wants to drain the swamp, AFFH is the number one alligator to be eliminated. Senator Mike Lee of Utah has already introduced legislation to de-fund it. He is ready, willing and able to work with Secretary Carson to get it done.

These guidelines are a good start and should be Carson’s goal for the first 100 days. Then he might want to consider starting a serious effort to eventually abolish HUD completely. It’s a socialist dinosaur and a threat to limited government in a free America.

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography

Tom DeWeese: Every Step Makes a Difference- A Really Great Month!

Every Step Makes a Difference- A Really Great Month! – “If this election has proven anything to us, it’s that those who have had power will stop at nothing to keep it.”

by Tom DeWeese

I founded the American Policy Center (APC) thirty years ago, back in 1986.  I had goals to accomplish and dreams for success. Mostly I just wanted to make a difference in protecting our culture and our unique American form of government as a republic that protects the individual, the free market and the security of our homes.

Over the years, I’ve focused on issues including personal privacy, illegal immigration, public education, and of course the assault on our very way of life through the UN’s creation of Agenda 21. I know that APC has had an impact on these issues. But I never really knew just how to measure our reach or success. Have I been able to make the difference I had hoped for? Have I changed lives? Well, over the past few weeks I was finally able to get an idea of my reach and it came in several very surprising ways.

As the results came in that Donald Trump had won his surprise victory to the White House, I saw that, finally, we had a definite opportunity to make a real difference. Finally, we could change the national direction that has been barreling unchecked toward a federal dictatorship. It was equally crystal clear that, as with the Obama Administration, under a Hillary Clinton administration there would have been no hope of affecting presidential policy.

So, my first reaction to the Trump victory was to help get the right people into positions in the Administration where they could affect policy. I quickly sent out an APC Sledgehammer Action Alert asking supporters across the nation to write to the Trump team in support of two very able local officials. I nominated one to serve in the EPA and the other to serve as Secretary of HUD. I felt nothing was more important than to have these two agencies run by people who would stop the assault on private property and industry. In fact, I believe that if that was the only accomplishment of a Donald Trump presidency then that would be enough to assure a strong future for our nation.

To my surprise, after issuing the alert, I received many emails from supporters telling me they had sent in my name to be HUD Secretary. That was very unexpected. It’s a heady feeling to know people have such respect for you. Of course, Ben Carson is now up for the job. But this was only the beginning of what was to come.

Next, a very powerful political leader from South Carolina contacted me to say he had offered my name to the Trump team for a position in the Department of Interior. Wow, I thought, I had never even considered such a thing. Yet, wouldn’t it be great for them to appoint me as head of the BLM. I’d free the Bundys from jail. I’d begin a process to give lands back to the states and open even more areas that has been locked away from human use. Yes, that would be interesting. I then posted this news on Facebook and was overwhelmed by the number of comments I received by very excited people who certainly wanted to see me in such a position.

Just a few of days later I was to receive the biggest shock of all. Richard Viguerie—the long time Conservative leader and Washington, DC icon—posted an article in his daily online report “Conservative HQ,” listing what new HUD Secretary Carson would need to succeed in that post. As I read the article my head almost blew off. It proposed three people Carson should add to his team. My name was included on that very short, impressive list. Said the report: “Mr. DeWeese has been a fierce opponent of HUD’s overreach and perhaps more than anyone has been able to capture the emotional impact Americans feel when they are deprived of their property rights by AFFH and other HUD overreaches.” Mr. Viguerie’s HQ Report is read by approximately 100,000 people, many of them are major Conservative and political leaders from around the nation. To be recognized by such a powerhouse is certainly an honor.

My heady couple of weeks in the sun was about to get even better as I was invited to attend a special Climate Change briefing sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), to be held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building hearing room on Capital Hill. CEI heads up a group called the Cooler Heads Coalition, which is made up of groups and policy makers working to expose the global warming scam and fight policy to enforce it.

There were three speakers for the event, including Dr. Timothy Ball, a Canadian. He is an author of several books exposing the global warming hype. The featured speaker for the briefing was recently elected Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts. He has caused quite a stir in the Australian government as he has already established himself as an aggressive opponent to that country’s climate change policies.
I had never met or corresponded with either of these men. While I was talking to a few folks by the hearing room, a man walked up to me and in his Australian accent said, “You’re Tom DeWeese, aren’t you?” It was Senator Roberts. Somehow he recognized me and complimented my “outstanding work.”  He said he had been reading my materials for years.

Read 
Tom DeWeese’s book, “Erase: A Political Thriller”

As the program opened, Dr. Ball began to speak, using his power point presentation. To my surprise he brought up a slide depicting the United Nation’s power structure clearly showing Agenda 21 as the center of the plans to enforce climate change policy and bring on global governance.

The reason that was such a surprise too me was the fact that, in the 20 years I have lead the fight against Agenda 21, I have been ignored and stonewalled by many leading conservative groups as they refused to even utter the words Agenda 21. Now, here in a Senate hearing room was a man they respected and had come to absorb his wisdom. And what was he saying? Exactly the message I had been trying to get them to hear all these years. After the program, I went up to thank Dr. Ball to talk about Agenda 21. I mentioned my struggle to reach some of these folks about Agenda 21. He said he understood. He said he didn’t believe the dire warnings about Agenda 21 at first either. Then he started to read my articles and that had led him to the truth. He said he knew my work well.

Next up was Senator Roberts to address the group. He was magnificent in his presentation. He hit all the right points on the global warming farce, backed by a genuine passion for the fight to stop it. But my biggest shock was about to be dropped on me. As he spoke, making his points, he suddenly said my name. In fact, not once, but three times! He told the crowd about how I was a leader in the fight, producing effective and important materials. To understand the significance of that fact, you must know the culture of Capital Hill. When someone of influence and respect, like Senator Roberts, starts pointing out your achievements, not once, but three times, it gets noticed! And it certainly was that day. Suddenly, after the program a lot of people wanted to say hello to me.

I tell these stories not to toot my horn, but to make a specific point. These two weeks of activity, being endorsed to serve in the new administration and recognized by strong leaders was vindication for the reach and impact that I and the American Policy Center have made. The excitement of so many supporters to accept that I might have an influence from inside the Trump Administration is a testament to APC’s never wavering battle to get the truth out. Senator Robert’s remarks simply confirmed to me that APC clearly has an international reach and is making a difference in world wide policy.  It certainly tells me that the fight thus far has been worth it. People are listening to APC and me. Now, with this new administration we really do have a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore our precious Republic and stamp out the growing tyranny that has threatened it.

There is another lesson in this for all the local activists who work so hard in their own communities; those who sometimes get discouraged because they don’t win the fight. Please learn this truth – what you do has an impact, no matter how insignificant you think your efforts may be. Writing a letter to the editor or speaking out in a meeting just might be the spark that moves someone else to take major steps forward, like a random article that moves a future Senator in Australia to lead the effort to change his nation’s policy.

I don’t know if I will get a position in this Administration. To tell you the truth, all I want is an open line into some of the agencies I have been fighting all these years, especially HUD. If I can become a resource of ideas to Secretary Carson I couldn’t ask for more. I shall pursue that opportunity to make it reality.

However, all of us on the front lines in the battle to preserve property rights and stop government tyranny must recognize one vital fact. A Trump presidency will not solve these problems for us. We must continue to be in the trenches fighting. If this election has proven anything to us, it’s that those who have had power will stop at nothing to keep it. If we now go home and think all is solved, nothing will change.

Those Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and planning groups operating in every community in the nation are not going to give up their power and influence – and the money that goes with it. We are going to have to fight trench warfare to boot them out and restore local control over government. We must fight in the grass roots to force the federal government to act against these runaway agencies. We must teach elected officials of the dangers and how to stand up against such policy. And we must organize local activists to back them up when they do take a courageous stand.

That is the mission of the American Policy Center in this new Era of Trump.

APC: http://americanpolicy.org/2016/12/20/every-step-taken-makes-a-difference-a-really-great-month/

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography

Tom Deweese: Featured Guest Editorialist

Four Ways to Use Fear and Deceit to Destroy our American Culture – “The American dream of owning a home, driving a car and planning for ones own future have become direct targets of such agency policy.”

by Tom DeWeese

“Once such control of thinking is established, it’s just a short journey to rejecting morality and losing the ability to know right from wrong. Then, they set themselves up as the answer.”

– Harold Riggers, ERASE

Our nation is being attacked and torn apart from four very specific directions. Americans are desperate to find answers and strategies to stop it. Before we can do that  we must first understand how it is being done and by whom.

I have just released a new book that, through a fictional thriller approach, gives great insight to such questions. The book is titled ERASE and features a four pronged story line. It details how we are being divided, manipulated and dumbed -down to prepare us to participate in our own demise.

Of course the most obvious attack is seen through government policy. The federal government, through the EPA, HUD, the Department of Transportation, and many more agencies are openly attacking the very concepts of free enterprise and private property rights. The American dream of owning a home, driving a car and planning for ones own future have become direct targets of such agency policy. Moreover, the legal structure of locally elected representatives deciding the future for our communities based on the wishes of those who elected them, is being destroyed through the establishment of non-elected boards and regional governments that do not answer to the people. Hordes of private, non-elected, non-governmental organizations and planning groups apply pressure for policies that many times overrule the will of the people. It’s all being funded through government grants that now give federal agents almost complete control over local decisions.

Second, that same federal control over the nation’s education system has seen the near destruction of knowledge. This will result in the creation of basically ignorant, unaware children good for little more than job training and the preparation of global citizenship. The new “citizens” come out of the public schools with nearly zero knowledge of the nation’s history, its philosophy or economic system. They are taught that there are no right or wrong answers and whatever works for them is ok. The concept of a fully rounded education that allows students to prepare for any eventuality has been replaced with little more than job training. Moreover, days in the classroom have become a drudgery of non-stop propaganda and behavior modification to impose a “proper” thought process called “Globally Acceptable Truth.” This concept advocates that the reason for wars and poverty is too much knowledge, confusing students, making life more difficult. Obedience and conformity are the true purpose of the curriculum in today’s American public education system.

Third, Public/Private Partnerships (PPPs) between government and business are becoming the new business model. There is one major problem with it. It’s not free enterprise; rather it is right out of the Mussolini fascist model. In the United States, government is assigned the task of protecting businesses to guarantee their ability to engage in commerce. But that doesn’t mean there should be partnerships between the two. The result of such PPPs is that certain companies that agree to play ball get to go to the head of the line  for the best locations and tax advantages handed out by government. Business can use its cozy partnership to assure policies that will help put their competition at a disadvantage.  to prosper and use government to help put competition out of business. Moreover, companies will use their promotion dollars to help sell the government party line, such as the need to use certain products to protect the environment. In this way they are getting us to voluntarily sacrifice our freedom of choice; change our eating habits; our mode of transportation; and our home buying decisions, all falling in line with desired government policies.

Read More

APC: http://americanpolicy.org/2016/08/03/four-ways-use-fear-deceit-destroy-culture/

Read Tom DeWeese’s Bio

Restructuring HUD

RESTRUCTURING HUD

by Bill Lockwood

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government … (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801).

From the days of the Progressives in the late 19th century until today, the march of failed ungodly socialism as a government concept continues unopposed in any meaningful manner. The History of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a perfect example. Beginning in 1892 when Congress appropriated $20,000 for the Secretary of Labor to “study slums” in American cities through the Public Works Administration of Franklin Roosevelt which Hamilton Fish (R-NY) rightly called “a concrete example of the socialistic tendencies of the New Deal,” the American experiment in freedom is foundering because of government interference programs such as HUD.

But no matter. Utopian meddlers such as President Obama continue pushing headlong toward a totalitarian cliff of destruction.  Adding more regulations supposedly designed to help “diversify” America’s wealthier neighborhoods, he recently announced a new HUD program aimed at ending deep-rooted racial and financial segregation in America. As every other unconstitutional federal agency and program, HUD’s mission has now mutated its purpose. Under Obama’s leftward lead HUD moves from “assisting” the impoverished to restructuring neighborhoods along racial lines. A good reason why government should not be in the redistribution business to begin with.
The result of Obama’s proposal is not hard to see. First, the continuing erosion of freedom. As Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) observed in response, “American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government.” Gosar is courageously leading an effort in the House to block the massive Obama regulations.
Second, the continuing erosion of Americans’ property values. Much of what drives real estate value and cost is the “quality of the surrounding property.” As one blogger wrote, “Wedging lower cost housing into expensive neighborhoods will not result in more minorities living in expensive neighborhoods – it will instead result in there being no such thing as an expensive neighborhood anymore.”

But more than that. Obama’s new HUD scheme will literally disintegrate home equity. Many families have tied their life-savings into home equity and property value as an investment for future retirement or to pass it along to their heirs. But, just as the printing of paper currency by the FED unfairly erodes the value of my dollar in a savings account, so forcibly restructuring neighborhoods violates the very purpose of good government—the protection of my labor.
Third, the continuing theft of the American worker. According to the Cato Institute the public housing subsidies, rental assistance, and housing finance activities have proven to be costly and damaging to the economy. The department’s poor management and misguided policies have led to fraud, corruption, and waste. The department will spend $42 billion in 2015, or about $341 for every U.S. household. It employs 8,600 workers and operates 116 subsidy programs.”
Each and every dollar HUD spends is unconstitutionally confiscated from the American taxpayer but its burgeoning budget reflects the nature of socialism.

What Does Freedom Look Like? The Cato Institute website summarizes well. “The Department of Housing and Urban Development intervenes in housing and community activities that should be the responsibility of local governments and the private sector.”
To see what freedom looks like– for regrettably, Americans need to be reminded at this point– glance at the churches. What population mixes are there? A typical residential southern community will have a large proportion of minorities and western neighborhoods are heavily influenced by the Hispanic population.  Government may mix them all together in housing, but left to their own free choice, as in the places they choose to worship, the picture looks very different.

It is possible in one community to worship with a mixed-race congregation but at the same time in the same township one may find several black churches, white churches, Hispanic churches or Asian churches. Why is this? Left alone, which is the proper role of government, some people prefer mingling among people with whom they feel they have more in common. This is the result of individual free choice and not government “churching.”

For example, the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is listed as part of the fellowship affiliated with the United Church of Christ denomination. The denomination as a whole is “predominantly white.” Yet, the Trinity Church, in which the Obama’s held membership under Jeremiah Wright, is “predominantly black.” This grouping is the outcome based upon freedom.
Typical for liberal Democrats and socialists, the Obama’s appreciated the free choice, but through HUD are denying other Americans that same freedom in choosing a place to live.

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