By TJ Edwards
Inclusionary zoning is about to dramatically alter the U.S. landscape and decimate its social and cultural characteristics. “Inclusionary” zoning? It is a new term in the federal government’s lexicon of psychobabble which translated means universal desegregation by racial and ethnic quotas.
An example of “inclusionary’s” real meaning exists in Portland, Oregon where homeowners in a tranquil city neighborhood watch while the city government prepares to dismantle the single-family home neighborhood by demolishing a century-old craftsman home built as an original symbol of the American Arts & Crafts movement less than 35 years after settlers ended their 19th Century journey on the Oregon Trail.
The home’s original owner died and the neighbors never saw a ‘For Sale” sign. A developer bought the two-lot property and plans to tear down the house and replace it with a 12-condo, three-story walk-up building that, by its design, is targeted to poor families — no elevators. Those families would rent the apartments after a landlord is in place to manage the converted condos and collect the Section 8 rental subsidies for each family. It is nothing more than a political trade-off to keep the federal government, particularly the Housing & Urban Development department, happy.
Under the refined rules of government bureaucracy, city policymakers work and-in-hand with developers by allowing zoning trade-offs. A developer can offer to build let’s say 20% of his units for poor families in return for permission to build the remaining 80% for upscale families. Or the developer can build all upscale housing if he offers to build poverty housing on other developer-owned properties.
Either way, city officials are bowing to the federal government’s new social enforcement mandate under the camouflage of the Obama administration’s interpretation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” That requires apartment/tenement-style housing to be built for the poor, primarily for poor black and Hispanic families that will be relocated from urban ghettoes to the new housing and fully subsidized for their cost of living without work — rent, utilities, food, electronics, transportation and direct welfare subsidy payments for clothing and entertainment.
In the Portland case, the developer, under public pressure, offers to sell the home to the neighbors for $700,000, hardly a sum residents can immediately get their hands on and still pay for their daily needs.
What is left is an invasion of settled city and suburban single-family neighborhoods by apartment-style tenements to satisfy the federal government ‘s newest “social and economic diversity” model strictly enforced by an ultimatum from HUD — do it our way or face a cutoff of all federal subsidies and possible payback of previous, already spent subsidies.
The Portland neighborhood dilemma is but one spotlight on the social friction this new federal endeavor will prompt as it is applied nationwide in the next two years.
Eye On Why will soon post a series of articles showing how various federal government offices and others conspired to settle the score over white flight to the suburbs in the 1950s to the 1970s, leaving inner cities in an economic vise as tax revenues dwindled and black families became increasingly dependent on government largesse to survive. The solution: Require each ZIP code to house the correct quotas of black and Hispanic families to correspond to their maximum inner-city populations. For example, if a city’s minority population consists of 7% black and 10% Hispanic families, then each ZIP code in the region must contain identical percentages of minorities.