Readers Write: Would suburban housewives approve of AFFH mandated zoning changes?

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In response to Donald Davret’s July 10, 2020 letter, “Don’t block door on Nassau’s housing needs,” I offer the following information to the readers for serious consideration:

Stanley “Kurtz said in an interview airing Sunday (7/26/20) at 8 p.m. ET (repeated Saturday 8/1/20 at 7 p.m. ET) on “Life, Liberty & Levin” that Obama and his wing of the Democratic Party viewed suburbs as “fundamentally unjust” communities that prevent taxation from flowing into the urban cities they surround.
On Thursday (7/23/20), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson announced that he is stripping Obama’s AFFH Rule from the Fair Housing Act, saying the rule “was an overreach of unelected Washington bureaucrats into local communities” – a point echoed by Kurtz.”
Carson called the rule a “ruse for social engineering under the guise of desegregation – essentially turning HUD into a national zoning board.”
“The move comes after President Donald Trump characterized the 2015 rule as an existential threat to the suburban way of life that will bring about more crime and lower home prices.
In a statement, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the regulation is known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, or the AFFH rule, was “unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with.”
For those interested in the history of earlier failed forays in housing social engineering programs I call your attention to the following:
“The Community Reinvestment Act is a United States federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low and moderate-income neighborhoods. Congress passed the Act in 1977 to reduce discriminatory credit practices against low-income neighborhoods, a practice known as redlining.”
“Cuomo, who was secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001, has been blamed in some quarters for helping to trigger the financial crisis by pushing Fannie and Freddie to buy more subprime mortgages to increase homeownership among the poor. Many of those homeowners eventually defaulted, and the mortgage-backed securities market later collapsed.”
In conclusion, who is willing to offer their community as the guinea pig for an AFFH social engineering program if Biden or his future extreme left running mate becomes president?
Walter J. Jaworski
New Hyde Park

4 COMMENTS

  1. There are a couple of flaws to this piece:

    1) No one wants to turn Nassau into Forest Hills. But for people to lose their minds over a three story apartment building is self defeating and in the end, hurts the County’s prospects for growth and economic stability. You build for the needs of the living.

    2) Ben Carson’s only knowledge about housing comes from the fact he lives in a house. This is a fairly complex issue and he doesn’t have the training or knowledge to deal with it. His appointment was a joke. Mr. Carson himself is a “waste of time.”

    3) The Community Reinvestment Act doesn’t apply to the housing issue. All CRA says if that if a bank does business in a certain area, you can’t act in a predatory manner, nor you can extract wealth from that community without investing something back in it. Redlining is forbidden practice for lenders.On Long Island, we let the School Districts along with the NYSUT perform this function without fear of prosecution.

    4) Fannie and Freddie were never “pushed” into buying Sub Prime loans, and this is a common canard used by Right Wing media. The housing crisis was caused by banks and hedge funds who securitized mortgages that were destined to fail, and got Moody’s, S&P and Fitch to rate the paper “investment grade.” If you need a refresher on this, rent the movie “The Big Short.” Better still, read the Michael Lewis book it is based on. The poor didn’t default. Most of the defaults were concentrated in Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and California, which the banking industry came to call the “Sand States.”

    Lastly, while Mr. Trump remains fixated on the 1950s, the term “Suburban Housewives,” is an insult to the women of Long Island. I know some people of a certain political bent want their women barefoot and pregnant, but most of the women I know are accomplished professionals in law, medicine, government and other professions.The very use of the term exposes a set of pathologies.

    Turn off Howard Kurtz. Better still, stop watching Fox.

    That is all.

  2. 1. If one wants to turn Hempstead into Forest Hills they would have plenty of support from the people in Hempstead. They would appreciate the improvement in their schools and living conditions. Where is the land in Nassau County available to build the three story apartment buildings or would this be accomplished using AFFH mandated zoning changes? How would more urban sprawl and traffic improve Nassau’s environment.
    2. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (who was secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001), only knowledge about housing came from the fact he lived in a house and his only qualification was his father was a former governor of New York. His tenure as secretary of Housing and Urban Development like his current tenure as Governor of New York was a horrible disaster.
    3. https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/faults-community-reinvestment-act-cra-mortgage-defaults/
    “Democrats and the media insist the Community Reinvestment Act, the anti-redlining law beefed up by President Clinton, had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis and recession. But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, “Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks. “Added NBER: “There is a clear pattern of increased defaults for loans made by these banks in quarters around the (CRA) exam. Moreover, the effects are larger for loans made within CRA tracts,” or predominantly low-income and minority areas. To satisfy CRA examiners, “flexible” lending by large banks rose an average 5% and those loans defaulted about 15% more often, the 43-page study found. The strongest link between CRA lending and defaults took place in the run-up to the crisis — 2004 to 2006 — when banks rapidly sold CRA mortgages for securitization by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Wall Street.”

    Isn’t it a fact that the “Main Street Media” has for over four years trumpeted the fact that President Trump did not have the support of “Suburban Housewives”? Why is the term offensive now?
    In conclusion, it’s Stanley Kurtz (see above) and one would be much more informed if they watched FOX instead of just the “Goebbelists” on CNN and MSN which are fully covered on FOX.

  3. “Where is the land in Nassau County available to build the three story apartment buildings or would this be accomplished using AFFH mandated zoning changes?”

    Try the vast, quickly accelerating stock of empty retail spaces, for one.The land is there, unless these flying monkeys who show up at Town meeting protesting new construction are imagining things. Right? And the Macy’s property?

    “Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (who was secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001), only knowledge about housing came from the fact he lived in a house and his only qualification was his father was a former governor of New York. His tenure as secretary of Housing and Urban Development like his current tenure as Governor of New York was a horrible disaster.”

    Governor Cuomo had experience in governance by working in Albany under his father as part his staff. I don’t like EITHER of them personally, but putting a surgeon in charge of housing is like putting a pro golfer in charge of a munitions factory. Cuomo’s stewardship was not a “disaster.” Running an agency takes experience. Ben Carson is like Trump’s version of Caligula’s horse.

    ““Democrats and the media insist the Community Reinvestment Act, the anti-redlining law beefed up by President Clinton, had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis and recession. But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, “Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks. “Added NBER: “There is a clear pattern of increased defaults for loans made by these banks in quarters around the (CRA) exam.”

    Right, your two enemies, “Democrats and the media.”

    I am aware of both the Investor’s Daily Op-Ed, which has been flogged for years by people looking to blame CRA, as well as the NBER piece, which was dumped on from the moment of release.The authors didn’t know housing or mortgage underwriting. No one in the field gives it any credence.

    CRA was NOT a “SubPrime” lending program. All it amounted to was a quota and the borrower STILL had to qualify. How do I know this? One, I was a mortgage broker and two, the default data in the aftermath of the 2008 crash showed CRA loans outperformed non-agency mortgages. The other problem? CRA quotas were so low, that even if half of them defaulted, it wouldn’t have disturbed the mortgage market or housing at large.

    This CRA canard has been repeatedly debunked:
    “In reality, the precise opposite of what a CRA-induced collapse should have looked like is what occurred.The 345 mortgage brokers that imploded were non-banks, not covered by the CRA legislation. The vast majority of CRA covered banks are actually healthy.

    The biggest foreclosure areas aren’t Harlem or Chicago’s South side or DC slums or inner city Philly; Rather, it has been non-CRA regions — the Sand States — such as southern California, Las Vegas, Arizona, and South Florida.”

    Barry Ritholtz repretedly demolished this over and over again:

    https://ritholtz.com/2016/06/no-cra-not-cause-financial-crisis/
    https://ritholtz.com/2009/06/cra-thought-experiment/
    https://ritholtz.com/2009/06/most-subprime-lenders-werent-covered-by-cra/

    In fact, Fannie and Freddie default rates even POST crisis were exceptionally low. It was the unregulated mortgage banks who gamed the system who created the disaster. Over 85% of foreclosures were due to loans made by Non Fannie and Freddie lenders.

    Don’t even fight me on this, Aside from my underwriting experience, I’ve traded millions in mortgage backed securities over the past 15 years.

    “Isn’t it a fact that the “Main Street Media” has for over four years trumpeted the fact that President Trump did not have the support of “Suburban Housewives”? Why is the term offensive now?”

    I believe the term used was “women.”

    “In conclusion, it’s Stanley Kurtz (see above) and one would be much more informed if they watched FOX instead of just the “Goebbelists” on CNN and MSN which are fully covered on FOX.”

    Brilliant riposte, sir.

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