Trump attacks suburban housing program. Critics see a game for blank votes.

Diane Yentel, chair of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington-based advocacy group, questioned the timing of the tweet – especially since Mr. Trump rarely speaks on such specific political issues.

“It is particularly heinous for the president to threaten to entrench segregated communities further now, at a time when racial injustices are reckoned with in our country,” said Ms. Yentel. “A direct line connects the history of racist housing policies in the United States to the current over-policing of black and brown communities.”

It is unclear how the pandemic, economic collapse and local moratoria on rent payments will affect the proposed rule changes. Even before the current crisis, roaming rates were on the rise, especially on the west coast. At the same time, black homeownership rates have falled at levels not seen since the 1960s.

The policy of positive promotion of fair housing was intended to replace the oversight of federal housing spending that was widely seen as ineffective, particularly with regard to discrimination based on race, disability, sex, age and sexual orientation.

The new rules, in theory, created tighter benchmarks for communities receiving federal funding, but compliance proved difficult, and HUD was still working on a toolkit that would have made it easier for communities to file reports. necessary when Mr. Trump was elected, says Mr. Donovan.

Opponents, including some local officials, viewed the new system as onerous – and found an audience receptive to their complaints when Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon with no housing experience, was confirmed as Mr Trump’s housing secretary in 2017.

In 2018, Mr. Carson, a free market conservative and the only black person in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, delayed promulgation of the regulations and signaled his intention to eliminate him completely, part of a larger strategy slow investigations into fair housing; and marginalization of ministry officials who aggressively pursued cases.

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