Bulldoze HUD

Nothing speaks to the failure of Big Government like federal housing policy . . .

  • Beginning in the 1930s, Washington started funding so-called "slum clearance" projects in America's cities
  • And by the 1950s, Washington was funding highway projects through major cities, destroying countless neighborhoods and businesses in the process
  • Many of the victims of these forced removals had nowhere to go but federally-funded public housing

In 1965, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was created to administer federal housing policy. Did it make life better for the poor?

So-called "urban development" created more poverty and injustice. Public housing "projects" became monuments of Big Government failure, as the buildings were poorly maintained and overrun by crime. Federal "partnerships" with private developers created the kind of "waste, fraud, and abuse" that everyone would like to see eliminated from the Federal Leviathan's budget.

And the very people served by HUD routinely tell tales that would make even a hard-core slumlord blush.

Inner-city residents have not been the only victims of HUD. As the CATO Institute notes . . .

  • In the early 1990's, Congress charged HUD with "regulating" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the federally-created mortgage companies) to prevent unacceptable risks. But regulation ran counter to HUD's mission to "increase homeownership, support community development, and increase access to affordable housing."
  • Political motivation to increase homeownership led to pressure on Fannie and Freddie to increase subprime loans by ten times, and to increase the number of loans to low-to-moderate income families
  • These policies helped fuel the housing bubble which culminated in the 2008 financial crisis

None of these unfortunate outcomes are surprising. They are the logical outcome of Central Planning. HUD was ill-conceived from the start . . .

  • The Constitution provides NO authority to Congress to establish housing policy, which is by definition a personal and local issue
  • Federal funding breeds bureaucratic jobs. The resulting Red Tape squelches free-market methods of growth and revival.

Each state and city has its own unique patchwork of regulations, licensing requirements, and zoning laws. In some places, these burdens are relatively light and such cities are enjoying growth. In others, they are excessive. In these cities there is high unemployment, population decline, and urban decay.

And the high-regulation, declining cities, are the cities who are "rewarded" with taxpayer money.

HUD is basically a federal bailout program.

There is little the federal government can do to fix problems created by local government, and throwing more money at the cities will only makes things worse. Instead, Congress should get out of the way . . .

  • Abolish HUD and save almost $48 billion per year
  • Remove any and all federal regulations that hobble entrepreneurship and business growth, or commercial or residential development
  • Stop rewarding the states and cities with financial aid; if they want to foolishly destroy jobs and prevent growth, the consequences will help reform them

A free market in housing will bring home prices and rents to affordable levels. Let's remove all obstacles to a free market.

Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy!

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Send a letter to Congress

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Please support legislation abolishing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
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