February 05, 2019

HUD's Pruitt-Igo Housing Policy

Timothy Birdnow

One of the primary indicators of economic health is home ownership and building. Tom DeWeese points out in an article at Canada Free Press how "sustainable" policies are rezoning areas to eliminate single family homes in compliance with U.N. Agenda 21, and this is reflected in economic numbers.

Here are a few snippets:

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.

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.

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.

End excerpts.

As a man who worked in the real estate business for two decades I can tell you that increasing residential density is a recipe for disaster. Does anyone remember Pruitt-Igo? Pruitt-Igo was a housing project built in the City of St. Louis. It became the symbol of all that was wrong with liberal urban planning; a new high rise that was quickly turned into a crime-ridden hell-hole, full of drugs, rape, murder, prostitution, etc. Built in 1954 the monstrosities were torn down in 1972.. I remember the demolition, having seen it on television. I remember my grandparents driving us kids by the projects as well before the end - with the doors carefully locked. It was not uncommon for cars to get hijacked around PI.

Pruitt-Igo failed because it put too many bad people in too close a proximity. There was no way to stop crime, because criminals could just go into any one of the apartments when authorities showed up. It was dangerous to be a cop in the projects; they were in ideal ambush country. Services were poor because of the dangers to maintenance workers. People tore out the plumbing to sell the copper. People threw their trash in stairwells and off balconies rather than take the risk of hauling it to the proper places (they could be assaulted en route). People used the halls as toilets when the water was off. There were just too many people stacked on top of each-other.

That's why the move in public housing was away from high rise apartments to duplexes and even single family home rentals.

Nobody wants to rent single family homes to the poor, though; if they stop paying the owner gets nothing, and the poor can do terrible damage to a property even if the government does the paying. That's why, a truly Progressive city, St. Louis passed on ordinance a few years ago forcing landlords to rent to Section 8 tenants whether they wanted to or not. If you want to rent property in St. Louis you have to accept people on the dole, no matter how much money you sank into fixing up the property. Smart.

But the point is even idiot liberals like the St. Louis City fathers understood the folly of what they had done at Pruitt-Igo. Sadly, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United Nations want to reproduce the experiment on an international scale, with all major cities becoming vast Pruit-Igo housing Projects.

Liberals always think it's just a matter of getting the right people in charge, no matter how often their hare-brained schemes fail.

And it should be pointed out that property rights are the cornerstone of all other rights. If you cannot own property you cannot own yourself, even, and then the government can tell you exactly what to do. This was so self-evident the Founding Fathers didn't even see a need to put it in the Constitution. But the Left wants communism ultimately, where everything is held in common. That's why they celebrate the Millenials not wanting to own automobiles, for instance; they love it that Millenials are happy not to own property but to share it. That means, they think, the Millenials are moving to a collectivist mentality (and they probably are) and this means we are moving to communism. In the end, though, communism fails wherever it is tried, and it will here too. Human beings aren't made that way; we want to own a few things, not the least of which is ourselves. We are not ants or bees.

And the hypocrisy is galling; the Left uses the right of personal ownership to promote abortion, which is taking the life of another because that life is inconvenient to you. They say "a woman has a right to choose what to do with her own body" and yet they have NEVER believed that about anything else. They hate private ownership of cars, houses, boats, land, even your own body. They force kids to be vaccinated against the wishes of parents. They want to control what people eat, drink, how they live. But a woman has an absolute right to murder her baby, yessiree. Just ask the Klansman who signed that bill in Virginia...

So the failed policies of the past are coming back, and this time they'll work! Right.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:24 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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