Shockingly, Americans not big on government enforced neighborhood diversity

A while back we discussed a proposed plan which Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was preparing to roll out. The goal was apparently to use public funds to impose a bit more “diversity” on neighborhoods by improving lower income neighborhood properties while mandating more low cost, public housing in wealthier areas. The response around here was, shall we say, less than enthusiastic, but hey… this is just one small corner of the interwebs, right? Perhaps the rest of the nation sees this as a wonderful opportunity and an idea whose time has come round at last.

Let’s check in with Rasmussen and see where the rest of our fellow citizens are coming down.

With the Department of Housing and Urban Development ready to release new regulations meant to diversify wealthy neighborhoods, American voters overwhelmingly say that it is not the government’s job to try to bring those of different income levels to live together.

“Overwhelmingly?” That seems rather harsh. Just how “overwhelming” are we talking here? A brief summary is provided by The M Report.

The poll questioned 1,000 people who are likely to vote and determined that 83 percent of respondents say it is not the government’s job to diversify neighborhoods in America so that people of different income levels live together, but 8 percent say that it is a role for the government and 9 percent are not sure. An additional 86 percent say that government should not play a role in deciding where people can live, while a small 8 percent says that the government should.

There’s a shift here, but not in the direction the White House might wish to see. Back in 2013 Rasmussen was asking the exact same question and 74% were opposed. Now, basically 3/4 of the country giving you the thumbs down is a pretty significant percentage to begin with, but it only seems to be going up since we’re now at 83. A curious aspect of these surveys is that during that same period in 2013, when asked what the cause of any perceived lack of diversity in their neighborhoods was, more than half (56%) felt that race wasn’t a factor.

The HUD plan calls for all local governments and states which receive federal funding through the agency to complete what’s called an assessment of fair housing (the AFH). I’ll leave it to the agency to explain why they need to do that.

The AFH focuses program participants’ analysis on four primary goals: improving integrated living patterns and overcoming historic patterns of segregation; reducing racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty; reducing disparities by race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability in access to community assets such as education, transit access, and employment, as well as exposure to environmental health hazards and other stressors that harm a person’s quality of life; and responding to disproportionate housing needs by protected class.

This isn’t something which just pops up randomly at a cabinet meetings. It comes straight from the top, choosing directions which HUD – just like every other cabinet level agency – will take. Regardless of the intent or the motivations, such things should be representative of the people who elect the folks in charge, no? And yet a policy like this shows up which managed to go against the grain for 83% of the country. Just stop and think about that single figure for a moment. 83%? I don’t think we can get 80% of the population today to agree on whether or not bacon is good.

HUD is supposed to improve the housing situation for Americans where possible, though many of their efforts wind up falling into disrepair and neglect. It’s at least an ostensibly noble cause, but mandating diversity seems significantly far afield from their mission. 83% opposition? Remind me again how these guys keep getting elected.