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June 2015 Policy Study, Number 15-6


The Nanny State Is Expanding And Private-Property Rights Are Decreasing


If You Want "Their" Money, You Must Play by "Their" Rules



The regulatory overreach of HUD through micromanaging the Section 8 Housing Voucher program and continuing interference with local governments and local taxpayers can only be stopped by refusing to bid on and accept the money being offered.  This is especially true if the AFFH rulemaking is allowed to be finalized in the summer of 2015. 


The actions taken against the City of Dubuque were based on the premises in AFFH and should serve as a strong indication of exactly what the goals and purposes of that regulation are and how they will be implemented.  Local cities and business owners will be buried under a mound of paperwork and reporting deadlines, with strict requirements – imposed by regional committees with no accountability to voters or taxpayers. They will be forced to examine every aspect of their community for the slightest indication of “unfair” impacts on supposedly disadvantaged and marginalized citizens in every sub-segment of our population. 


According to the AFFH this “unfair impact” will be evaluated based on every aspect of the community’s transportation, education, jobs, housing, environmental hazards, poverty, national origin, English language ability, and disability situations.  If these issues are not being managed in an “approved” way to get the centrally determined desired results, there will be significant repercussions to the elected officials and government staffs, as well as a public shaming of the community for not performing in an approved manner.  The specific numerical standards to be met by each community under the AFFH have not yet been stated, but they will not be determined by individual communities to meet their unique needs and circumstances.  They will instead be determined by regionalized central planners, based on what is thought to be best for the region, set up in five-year plans. 


If we will remember, centrally driven five-year plans did not work out very well during the late 1900s for our friends in the Soviet Union.  There is little reason to think they will work any better in 2015 or 2020.


Certainly, as evidenced by the CHA, large centrally controlled management of housing (and most other government services) is not working very well for the low-income citizens of Chicago, no matter what their race. 


The repercussions to private-property owners and small businesses of this federal government overreach are significant.  As soon as one becomes involved with and receives any government funds to implement a project or improve one’s business or home, you will fall under the regulatory governance of HUD and the AFFH and must meet their standards.  The only way for our Iowa cities and towns and our property owners and small business people to avoid being impacted in this way is to not take the money. 


To paraphrase a famous movie line, we do NOT want them to “show us the money.” And we do not want them to be our “nannies.”  We want them to keep their money, to give it back to the hardworking taxpayers who earned it, leave private-property owners alone, and stop micro-managing our communities.  




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