“I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low-income housing built in your neighborhood,” he tweeted. “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”
The president’s words inspired many replies — the first part of the statement received about 30,000, while the second half got nearly 17,000. While plenty of Twitter users hit the “like” button, many of those who commented were not thrilled about Trump’s inferences about the suburbs and the type of individuals who should or should not live in them.
“According to you, hard working-class Americans do not deserve a life in the suburbs. Also, the AFFH has been around since 1968 to give every American a chance of living the American Dream. It was to prevent discrimination and segregation. You are showing your true colors,” noted one user.
President Barack Obama signed the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) provision in 2015 to help prevent real estate discrimination, Forbes reported. The legislation supported the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act, which Lyndon Johnson signed.
Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa decried Trump as racist and not smart. Meanwhile, Leah Greenberg, the executive director of Congressional activist group Indivisible Team, declared that the U.S. leader’s new initiative began an active campaign to discriminate within the real estate business.
Others who responded told stories of growing up poor and the struggle to find decent places to live. Some wondered where poor people should live, considering that many traditional neighborhoods in cities have experienced gentrification, making them unaffordable for many working-class families. However, at least a few Twitter users thanked Trump and said that low-rent housing had caused their house values to decrease dramatically in the past.
In 1973, Trump’s company was sued by the Justice Department after violating the Fair Housing Act because it allegedly did not rent to Black people. The case was settled two years later in 1975 when he signed an agreement not to discriminate against homebuyers or potential renters. The company also had to place advertising to inform minority groups about obtaining housing at properties he owned. Trump said that his agreement did not mean he admitted to discrimination.
Housing Secretary Ben Carson started revoking the rule on July 23, and he noted that Trump’s “opportunity zone” initiative went into effect. The zone provides capital gains tax discounts for investors who make investments in any of the 8,000-plus designated areas.