Why One Town Said “NO” to HUD

26 Apr Why One Town Said “NO” to HUD

When Castle Rock, CO refused to apply for a HUD grant, the recipients of the money were upset. But, Castle Rock had done their homework. Their response to the grantees should be read by every public official who ever considers accepting a federal grant.

HUD shielded their 2015 rule, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing from public view for nearly a year.

The agency withheld the proposal announcement from the spring and fall 2012 Unified Agendas. The Office of Management and Budget finally released the proposal to the public on December 21, 2012, during the Christmas holiday, after government operations had shut down. Because of the timing of the release, AFFH received little notice.

Now we know why.

Through a labyrinth of application requirements and legalese, the agency can force HUD grant recipients to…
• reverse voters decisions,
• alter zoning laws and land use regulations, and
• join a region against the community’s will

In the history of HUD, there has never been this type of dangerous grab of local authority and personal property rights. The Castle Rock letter explains.

Letter from the Castle Rock Town Council to HUD Grantees

(Link to original letter)

Note* The Town Council letter was addressed to the following grantees…

Exec. Dir. Audio Information Network of Colorado
Reg. Dir. Catholic Charities of Central Colorado
Exec. Dir. Crisis Center of Castle Rock
Exec. Dir. Douglas County Housing Partnership
Exec. Dir. Douglas/Elbert Task Force
Vol. Chairman Parker Task Force for Human Services
Exec. Dir. Southeast Community Outreach
Grants Mgr. Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Thank you for your letter concerning CDBG funds and the Town of Castle Rock. Last year, when faced with the question of whether the Town should become an entitlement community under the CDBG program, the Council declined to pursue that status because it would result in unclear and unwarranted interference from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For years, Castle Rock has accepted various grant monies offered by HUD through Douglas County. This money was parceled out by Town Council mainly to fix alleyways and make curbs ADA accessible. But last year HUD added very alarming strings to the grants; 377 pages of new rules that give HUD drastic new powers over our cities and counties that in affect eliminate the zoning and planning powers of your local elected officials which can now be overruled by HUD bureaucrats in Washington DC.

If we continue to accept the HUD grants, we will be forced to prepare detailed taxpayer-financed studies of our schools, retail, housing, and other community aspects to HUD who will decide if our neighborhoods are “furthering fair housing.” That means that even though our town has never been found in violation of the anti-discrimination housing rules that have been law for over 50 years, HUD on a whim could force us to build low-income, government subsidized housing into our neighborhoods if HUD decides we aren’t racially balanced enough. This is already happening across the U.S.; just google Westchester County, New York.

One example: according to HUD, if your family home sits on a quarter-acre property, your neighborhood is potentially discriminatory. It would be much less racist if a high-rise low-income apartment building went up next door, never mind local zoning regulations.

The result for us could be reduced property values, a large population increase due to an influx of people from the cities to our suburbs, more crime, large local tax increases to support HUD’s mandate, and loss of local zoning control and other local decisions.

As a Town Council, we will resist all federal attempt to destroy our local sovereignty, be it from HUD, the EPA, or any other government agency. Council will always defend our resident’s right to make their own local decisions without federal interference. While I appreciate the many good works that are represented by your programs, accepting onerous federal grant requirements, which harm our community, cannot be the price to pay for federal monies.

Sincerely,
Paul Donahue Mayor, District I
Jennifer Green, Mayor Pro Tern, District 3
Renee Valentinem Councilmember District 5
George Teal, Councilmember District 6
Mark Heath, Councilmember District 2

6 Comments
  • Jim Crosby
    Posted at 13:56h, 27 April Reply

    No mention anywhere in the media, nothing from any elected official. When the government does things like this no on can scream loud enough ans fast enough to make a difference so the government gets away with trampling the rights of the people without one quip of rejection. And this is small compared to everything going on in DC.

    • John Anthony
      Posted at 14:18h, 27 April Reply

      You are right about the media, Jim. We must explain this to our local officials and our neighbors. I think you will find this is pretty big issue. Through the AFFH rule, the administration is able to control local land use and therefore can control property rights, living conditions and even personal behavior. Our founders defined three foundational necessities for America to survive as a free nation: life, liberty and property. Of the three, property makes the other two possible. AFFH is to our property rights what Common Core is to education and the ACA is to healthcare.

  • Bob McMahan
    Posted at 16:09h, 27 April Reply

    This process appears to be underweigh everywhere. Many local government leaders are ideologically oriented to the goals of these Federal programs, so they may well initially accede to the demands for “neighborhood diversity”. As members of local governing bodies who act on these impulses are identified, they must be removed from office.

    • John Anthony
      Posted at 16:19h, 27 April Reply

      The best way to slow HUD down is transparency. Once the communities’ legal advisors see the gauntlet of legal liability AFFH creates, they tend to advise officials to avoid HUD money. Next is to get a Congress that will repeal AFFH.

  • john wettengel
    Posted at 15:53h, 07 May Reply

    This is nothing new. My brother and I were talking about this 3 years ago already. Obama is pushing this under guise of HUD office. What these Progressives want to do is to bring houses down to levels that people who cannot afford to live in them can live in them. This judge who is against Rob Astorino in Westchester, N.Y. should take lower class people into her spacious home and let her take care of them. She will soon be crying help help I cannot take it. So much for a socialist. These people need to go away quietly. Liberals are dirty people and just want to slime everything around them. I am sick of these people in my country. They have destroyed education and ruined generations of young people.

  • john wettengel
    Posted at 16:07h, 07 May Reply

    My brother and I were already talking about this 3 years ago. This is a grab by Obama and liberals and Progressives all over the country. They want all of us to be equal in everything we do. Nobody can live in a better home than another. This judge in Westchester, N.Y. is liberal and is against Rob Astorino who is doing what he can to stop this nonsense. Not only will this lower property values but it will bring crime and other devastation upon others.

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