Push for high-density housing rooted in racial and environmental agendas – Low Calorie Diets Tips

The Biden administration is encouraging local communities across the country to change zoning rules to create higher-density neighborhoods. The plan includes elements of the racial and environmental agendas that Biden has been pushing on most fronts.

The Housing Supply Action Plan announced in May aims to reduce housing costs by increasing the housing supply in each community.

“One of the most important problems constraining housing supply and production is the lack of available and affordable land, caused in large part by state and local zoning and land use laws and regulations that limit housing density,” states in a May 16 White House statement announcing the plan. “Exclusive land-use and zoning policies restrict land use, artificially raise prices, perpetuate historical patterns of segregation, keep workers in lower-productivity regions, and limit economic growth.”

Under the plan, the government will pressure jurisdictions to rewrite zoning and land use policies to increase density by tying federal grant applications to zoning.

For example, this year the US Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded higher scores for competitive grants totaling nearly $6 billion to jurisdictions that have introduced land use policies to encourage higher density. And the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) evaluates grant applications based in part on the EDA’s investment priorities for green development, which already include “infill development” — that is, new construction on lots between existing buildings. Now it will add prioritization of projects that increase density in other ways.

Linking zoning to racism and climate

According to Sara Bronin, a professor in Cornell University’s Department of City and Regional Planning and an associate faculty member at Cornell Law School, who specializes in land use and sustainable development, land use laws are intertwined with climate change and racial justice.

She is the founder of Desegregate Connecticut, a self-proclaimed pro-home coalition of neighbors and nonprofits campaigning for more equitable, affordable, and environmentally sound land-use policies in Connecticut and focused on increasing diversity in the housing stock.

According to Desegregate Connecticut, minimum land reform could promote fairer, more sustainable communities because closer knitting reduces resource use, car dependency and climate risks from urban sprawl and deforestation.

Smaller lot sizes mean more affordable options to own or rent, says Desegregate Connecticut. The group also advocates for transit-oriented communities, which are affordable housing developments built close to public transportation.

Bronin advocates state-owned multi-family housing, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by minimizing car use.

Bronin did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on Biden’s announcement.

According to Noah Kazis — a nonresident senior fellow at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, a Washington-based nonprofit public policy organization — current zoning, which he calls “exclusive zoning,” not only harms the environment but also reduces supply and drives up Housing costs skyrocket and harm those looking for a home and the economy as a whole.

“Restrictive zoning promotes racial and economic segregation and serves as a mechanism for marginalization and hoarding of opportunity by affluent white communities,” Kazis writes in an article for the Brookings Institution.

Builders support relaxing zoning rules to allow for higher density.

“Zoning changes will benefit builders because if you have a 4-acre lot and you can build 4 houses there, one per acre, you will make more money than selling it where you only build 1 house on 4 acres could. There are places in the country where zoning codes are so strict that you have to have very, very large building lots,” Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, told The Epoch Times. “It’s not the most efficient way, and some of these places aren’t even in rural America; They are in American suburbs just trying to preserve what they call “their way of life.” Zoning is an issue that is very much a linchpin to what the cost of housing will be in each location.”

Regardless of how homebuyers feel about fewer single-family homes and more apartments and maisonettes in the housing market, higher density is profitable for those in the housing industry who are wholeheartedly behind the zoning changes.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) supports Biden’s plan.

“For too long, land-use restrictions have pushed up housing costs for too many,” NAR said in a statement in May in response to the Housing Supply Action Plan announcement. “NAR supports policies that encourage states and municipalities that receive federal dollars to explore high-density zones and other land-use rules that lock families out. We also support new grant programs for municipalities to enact housing-friendly policies.”

Moving to state housing

Apartments in Long Beach, California on November 1, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

But Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center and advocate of individual liberties and property rights, warns that this “smart growth” is a political agenda designed to control people.

Biden’s plan encourages the construction of more apartment buildings, including duplexes, townhouses and apartments. DeWeese says environmentalists want people to live in tighter neighborhoods and use less land.

“If they let you live in a high-rise apartment instead of in your own family neighborhood, they can control your transportation – where you’re going. Smart meters can control the energy consumption of your apartment building. Smart meters will tell them all your habits, how many people live there, all kinds of information like that comes from being able to read how you use energy,” DeWeese told The Epoch Times. “What you’re going to have over time is energy curfews — that at 10 a.m. the power goes off. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s what it’s all about.”

Even now, says DeWeese, condominiums are being built with no parking spaces. The goal, he says, is to make shops and workplaces walkable and eliminate the need for cars.

“Every single program that’s being rolled out now, to a greater or lesser extent, is built around reducing that carbon footprint,” DeWeese said. Most apartments have private landlords, but more and more regulations are hurting them. “Landlords are going out of business like crazy. Eventually all housing will be government housing.”

Biden’s plan says he will ensure a greater supply of government-owned housing, and he offers several financing mechanisms to encourage more multifamily housing.

DeWeese says state housing is lowering living standards.

“Think of the low-income people who are already living in government housing and you hear the horror stories of what they’re living with,” DeWeese said. “Heating and air conditioning do not work. Broken windows will not be repaired. There are gangs and all kinds of drug dealers and criminals hanging around. danger everywhere. Why? Because the landlord there is a government bureaucrat who doesn’t care. If you have a private landlord, he takes care of his property.”

Government should want people to own their own homes, DeWeese says, because private ownership builds wealth for people and fuels healthy economies.

“How does the average person build their personal wealth? Doing a job every day will not make you rich. It’s food. To build wealth so you have money to enjoy and retire, private ownership is the means,” DeWeese said. “You start with a smaller house and end up buying a bigger one. They always increase in value. And this is how you build personal wealth. And when you start cutting that out, people are just subjects.”

“People who live in single-family homes and people who live in rural areas are both independent people,” DeWeese said. “These form the middle class. And when people are independent, they are independent of [government] Control. You have to look at who is doing it and what their motivation is. We are dealing with people who work for government control in every aspect of our lives. Radical statement, I get it. refute me.”

Beth Brelje

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Beth Brelje is an investigative journalist who covers the politics, courts and the most interesting and sometimes hidden news of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Send her your story ideas: Beth.brelje@epochtimes.us

Matt McGregor

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Matt McGregor covers North and South Carolina news for The Epoch Times. Send him your story ideas: matt.mcgregor@epochtimes.us

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