Friday, February 12, 2016

HUD


What do you know about the Department of Housing and Urban Development? I hear a lot of talk about that department by President Obama. One of the initiatives they are working on right now is diversification of every neighborhood in the United States. The first thing that came to my mind was desegregation and busing students to change the racial mix in every school. I have no problem with integrated schools, but most government efforts to force change do not work very well, especially when trying to put people together that live differently based on their personal economics.

The Housing Act of 1937 created the Federal Housing Authority. The law was signed by FDR. Their purpose was to provide mortgage insurance for FHA approved lenders. Remember Ginnie Mae? The agency was changed to HUD by The Department of Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, signed by LBJ. Today HUD has over 8,000 employees and an annual budget of $45 billion.

The following is HUD’s mission as stated on their website. “HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.”

I think this agency does some good things, but mission creep is always a problem. Congress tinkers with laws pertaining to this department on an intermittent basis. Tweak, tweak, tweak is often how we end up with agencies that abuse their power. I especially think they do some good with their section 8 housing projects that manage affordable housing for handicapped and elderly people.

American people are free and I cannot state this often enough. What we are free from is government oppression. Many presidents try social engineering and it works, but it is so slow coming to fruition, you cannot determine if the change would not have occurred without government meddling. Trying to coerce people to stay in neighborhoods where they do not feel safe or comfortable is destined for failure. People with enough money to relocate will relocate. This gives us a clue to the actual solution to the problem and it is so simple. Provide the poor people stuck in a neighborhood they do not like with an opportunity to get out. Do it by allowing them to get good jobs with good pay.

We have a political party that thrives on making people think they cannot succeed on their own; that they must have government help. The truth is most successful people are successful because they took responsibility for themselves, not because the government gave them something. There is a big difference in the thinking of students. For instance, one student that gets a student loan to learn a marketable skill compared to another student that gets student loans just to have extra money to spend while learning a foreign language or the old cliché, basket weaving.

We need political parties that will convince the people they can all do better on their own. The truth is everyone that expects the government to take care of them is disappointed. Government help is only help, if it is taken with the mindset that it is temporary as you increase your own opportunities for success. Independence is a desirable trait in a person. Elected officials should be giving individuals confidence to strive for this independence.




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