On Wednesday afternoon President Trump tweeted announcing he rescinded the 2015 Affirmatively Further Fair Housing rule, which President Obama implemented to fight housing discrimination.
Oakland Mayor Libby Scaaf quickly responded back to Trump’s declarations, saying:
Forget the dog whistle, this a full-throated howl — an outrageous endorsement for racial segregation, discrimination, and exclusion. https://t.co/8lzKwMromn
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) July 29, 2020
NPR reported that, “The rule has gained attention because Trump has been referencing it heavily in his push for suburban voters, falsely saying that former Vice President Joe Biden wants to “abolish” suburbs.” On June 30th, Trump tweeted,
At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas. Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE. Not fair to homeowners, I may END!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
The rule required local governments receiving federal housing funds to create plans that would combat housing discrimination, which advocates said helped strengthen the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
The AFFH rule would effectively encourage communities to build more apartments, which would in turn encourage smaller wage earners to move to those areas.
The Trump Administration has been taking apart the rule since 2018 and according to a press release, Housing Secretary Ben Carson began revoking the AFFH rules on July 23rd.
Carson called the AFFH rule “complicated, costly and ineffective,” and touted the Trump Administration’s “opportunity zone” initiative, which provides discounts on capital gains taxes for investors sending money into one of over 8,000 designated areas, reported Forbes.
Opportunity zones have been criticized by Congress as a means of profit for wealthy real estate developers—including some tied to the current administration.
The November presidential election will show if the rule change helped or hurt President Trump.