On Wednesday, Donald Trump took to Twitter and intentionally stoked racial division by touting an administrative rule change on housing that he hopes will appeal to “white suburbanites” that have abandoned him because of his failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump went to Twitter to tout his rollback Obama-era rule meant that was put in place to combat segregation.
In his tweet, Trump wrote “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.”
Trump then added, “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”
While speaking in Texas later in the day Trump stated that affordable housing has no place in American suburbs.
“You know, the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home. There will be no more affordable housing forced into the suburbs,” Trump stated. “It’s been going on for years. I’ve seen conflict for years. It’s been hell for suburbia. We rescinded the rule three days ago so enjoy your life, ladies and gentlemen, enjoy your life.”
In his comments, Trump was referring to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which was created back in 2015 to bolster the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act outlawed any restrictions on renting or selling homes to people based on race.
In 1973, Donald Trump was accused in a federal civil rights case of violating the Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit was based on evidence that was gathered by testers for the New York City Human Rights Division, which alleged that black people who went to Trump buildings were told there were no apartments available, while white people were offered units. The lawsuit ended with a settlement.
Part of the settlement required that the Trumps place ads in newspapers stating that they welcomed black applicants.
Reportedly, Trump’s political advisers have watched with growing concern as polls show support for him drastically dropping among suburban women.
Just last week, the Trump administration announced it was dismantling the rules that required local governments to demonstrate progress against housing discrimination in exchange for grants. Trump called the situation a big win for the suburbs.
Critics state that these rollbacks completely remove racial protections. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law stated that it will “eviscerate all oversight of state and local government compliance with fair housing laws.”
Joe Biden’s housing plan calls for the 2015 rule to be reinstated.