Deregulate the Suburbs

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Federal meddling in housing policy might not be the answer, but state and local reforms are in order.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he Trump administration’s “Yes in My Back Yard” turn was interesting while it lasted.

Back in 2018, Ben Carson, who heads Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), laid out a plan to replace the Obama administration’s “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule. The Obama policy, which Carson had already suspended, required local governments to analyze the demographic compositions of their neighborhoods — a detailed, laborious process — and figure out ways to engineer more integration, unless they wanted to lose federal housing funds. The Carson plan, by contrast, harnessed the power of the free market. As Michael Tanner put it,

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