Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wanna See Socialism Up Close And Real Personal-Like ?

From the deranged mind of Shaun Donovan, Chairman Obama's Housing and Urban Development, uh... Secretary:

(Emphasis added to the juicy parts, outrage is brackets)

" September 30, 2011

DRAFT - 2012 – 2015 Environmental 1 Justice Strategy for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

 Message from the Secretary

  The ongoing housing and economic crisis has touched every family in one way or another – but for low-income and minority communities, it’s been particularly devastating. [Lost your house ? Tough toenails, Whitey.] Not only have these communities watched as nearly two decades of economic gains were rolled back in a matter of months, but they are also uniquely vulnerable to pollution, unsafe drinking water and other environmental and public health hazards. [Yes, fellow taxpayer, this means the redistribution of wealth.]

 The Obama Administration believes that all communities deserve the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, equal access to the Federal decision-making process, and a healthy environment where they can live, learn, and work. That’s why I’m proud that HUD was one of 17 agencies to recently sign the Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Justice and Executive Order 12898. Built on a 1994 Executive Order that directed a range of federal agencies to make environmental justice central to their missions as part of the Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group, this MOU brings more federal partners to the table, adopts a charter, and provides guidance to help communities achieve better results for families.

 This work builds on progress we’ve already made – particularly in areas like childhood lead poisoning, where we’ve reduced the number of children with lead poisoning by 75 percent over the last decade. But the job’s not over. Given that these hazards are most prominent in older housing stock where many low-income communities live, HUD’s engagement on this issue has been essential. That’s why HUD’s 2010-2015 Strategic Plan included a commitment to improve health outcomes and promote communities that are healthy, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive.

What makes this MOU unique is that for the first time, it recognizes that keeping our families healthy is not just about the quality of the homes themselves – but where they are located. Indeed, right now we can predict a child’s life expectancy by the zip codes he or she grows up in.

 Major contributors to this tragedy include higher rates of childhood  obesity, increased air pollution, and a lack of open space, to name just a few. HUD’s 2011 Environmental Justice Strategy responds to these challenges by expanding 'geographies of opportunity.' Through our Choice Neighborhoods initiative and the sustainability grants we awarded to communities in 2010, HUD is already helping to lay the foundation for healthy, inclusive, and more sustainable communities – creating walkable neighborhoods with sidewalks, preserving and protecting parks and other open spaces, and helping metro regions reduce traffic congestion and commute times by developing comprehensive transportation and housing plans that bolster economic growth. [Comrade Lenin would be proud!]

 All this work reflects a core belief: that when you choose a home, you do not just choose a home. You choose a community and the choices available in that community – including how healthy and safe that community is. With President Obama’s leadership and this Environmental Justice strategy, we’re committing to working together with federal, state, and local partners to ensure that every neighborhood is vibrant and safe, and provides a healthy future for our children. [My future grandchildren and great-grandchildren just can't wait to pay for this!]

 Shaun Donovan"


Hmmmm......and what was "environmental justice" again ? Let's ask the ever-so huggable Van Jones, Chairman Obama's former "Green Jobs Czar":


"Mother Jones: Can you briefly explain what 'environmental justice' means to you?

Van Jones: Environmental justice is the movement to ensure that no community suffers disproportionate environmental burdens or goes without enjoying fair environmental benefits."


No dice, Vannie. You can bullshit your way through the Sunday Morning Snoozefests, answering questions from automatons pretending to be journalists all you want, but you're not fooling me. I know who you are, and more importantly, I know what you are. Let's try it again. What does the term "environmental justice" actually mean ?


"Well, the only reason that we have the unsustainable accounting that we have right now is because incinerators, dumping grounds, and sacrifice zones were put where poor people live. It would never have been allowed if you had to put all the incinerators and nasty stuff in rich people's neighborhoods; we'd have had a sustainable economy a long time ago. We'd have had a clean and green economy a long time ago. It's the environmental racism that allowed the powerful people in society to turn a blind eye for decades to the downsides of the industrial system that got us to this point. So there's a direct relationship between environmental racism and the lack of sustainability of society as a whole. We were the canaries in the coal mines, crying for relief. Now finally the consequences are affecting everyone, with global warming and everything else. The other thing is that the environmental justice agenda is also changing. Before, it was much stronger on demanding equal protection from environmental bad. Now we are also demanding equal opportunity and equal access to environmental good. We don't want to be first and worst with all the toxins and all the negative effects of global warming, and then benefit last and least from all the breakthroughs in solar, wind energy, organic food, all the positives. We want an equal share, an equitable share, of the work wealth and the benefits of the transition to a green economy.


I knew you had it in you, Vannie. Now go "Occupy" something, preferably in North Korea.

As we can see from Comrade Van's rant above,"environmental justice" has nothing to do with the environment or justice. It has everything to do with taking money from Citizen A by force and giving it to Citizen B. The last time I checked, this was the redistribution of wealth, a hallmark of the 20th Century political phenomenon known as "communism", which really doesn't work very well. ( Don't believe me ? Just ask the 100 million people communism murdered.)

This announcement from HUD is beyond troubling for two reasons: One, the housing market is being held together by bailing wire and spit. Two, the Federal Leviathan can't support a goldfish, let alone pay for another dystopian pipe dream.

While we're on the subject, exactly what is HUD's Five-Year Plan, anyway ?


"The 2010 – 2015 HUD Strategic Plan commits to accomplish the HUD mission through five core goals:

 1. Strengthen the Nation’s Housing Market To Bolster the Economy and Protect Consumers
 2. Meet the Need for Quality, Affordable Rental Homes
 3. Utilize Housing as a Platform for Improving Quality of Life
 4. Build Inclusive and Sustainable Communities Free From Discrimination
 5. Transform the Way HUD Does Business"


Uh-oh. That doesn't sound good. The last time the Federal Leviathan tried to "Strengthen the Nation's Housing Market to Bolster the Economy" (in 2008), the United States almost entered the Third World.

And how does this piece of socialist crap tie into "environmental justice" ?

(Emphasis added where appropriate, snarky comments from yours truly in brackets.)


 "HUD’s Strategic Plan: Its Connection  to Environmental Justice:

 HUD’s mission, to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all, clearly reflects principles of environmental justice. For HUD, strong, sustainable, inclusive communities are resilient communities that can weather the impacts of disasters and economic downturns, offer residents access to healthy living and amenities such as transportation, education, jobs, and social services, and are free from discrimination that has historically limited housing choice and relegated minority populations to low-opportunity areas.

 These principles offer an affirmative answer to the challenges that environmental justice communities face. By encouraging the availability of quality, affordable homes that are both hazard-free and more energy-efficient, HUD is protecting residents and our environment.

 The 2010 – 2015 HUD Strategic Plan1 commits to accomplish the HUD mission through five core goals:

 1. Strengthen the Nation’s Housing Market To Bolster the Economy and Protect Consumers
 2. Meet the Need for Quality, Affordable Rental Homes
 3. Utilize Housing as a Platform for Improving Quality of Life
 4. Build Inclusive and Sustainable Communities Free From Discrimination
 5. Transform the Way HUD Does Business

The FY 2010–2015 HUD Strategic Plan allows HUD to scale-up local innovations, lead the charge, and set the pace for change leading up to HUD’s 50th anniversary in 2015. Each of these core goals will help HUD move forward in achieving environmental justice. Particular elements of the HUD strategic plan provide greater alignment between agency goals and environmental justice. Strengthening the Nation’s Housing Market (Goal 1) requires HUD to forge new relationships with federal, state, and local agencies across government silos—to assist different regions with vastly different housing needs. Likewise, Meeting the Need for Quality Affordable Rental Homes (Goal 2) requires us to provide people with the choices they need to seize opportunities for their families by streamlining the way HUD delivers rental assistance and by building partnerships that preserve housing affordability near transit and jobs. 

Under Subgoal 1 2D, Expand families’ choices of affordable rental homes located in a broad range of communities, is Strategy 6: 'Remove local barriers to the expansion of the supply of multifamily homes in strong, safe, healthy communities through incentives to state and local governments.' Strategy 6 integrates the values of residential choice and healthy communities, which are central to the Department’s statutory obligation to affirmatively further fair housing in its housing and urban development programs under the Fair Housing Act. They are central also to the equal access and equal treatment requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

To Utilize Housing as a Platform for Improving Quality of Life (Goal 3), HUD must make federally subsidized housing a catalyst for investments in education, health, and job training, while also leveraging the private capital needed to expand housing for the growing number of seniors and homeless Americans. [In other words, the Regime is gonna take YOUR money and hand it over to someone else.] By bringing to bear mixed-use, mixed-income tools to transform all housing in a neighborhood and helping communities identify and address longstanding development challenges through targeted assistance, HUD will Build Inclusive and Sustainable Communities Free From Discrimination (Goal 4)—supporting and creating geographies of opportunity that result in neighborhoods of choice, affirmatively furthering fair housing laws, and fighting the scourge of concentrated poverty. Under Subgoal 4B, Promote energy-efficient buildings and location-efficient communities that are healthy, affordable, and diverse, the Department would promote a healthy and safe living environment. This subgoal is consistent with HUD’s longstanding site and neighborhood standards under the Fair Housing Act and Title VI, which encourage investment of HUD assistance in demographically diverse and healthy areas with good access to jobs, education, services, and recreation. EJ’s emphasis on the participation of minority and low-income populations in policy making is reflected in strategies under Subgoal 4C, Ensure open, diverse, and equitable communities.

 To Transform the Way HUD Does Business (Goal 5), HUD will not only reform hiring practices and empower local decision-making, but also provide our customers with the information and technical assistance they need to better target resources and build their own capacity—taking the holistic, cross-cutting view of community development required to make the biggest difference on the ground. Goal 5 incorporates many of the dimensions of a revitalized EJ compliance effort – including education and training of HUD’s workforce, establishment of rules and systems that are responsive, open, and transparent, and a renewed  focus on the customer: the men and women who experience the impact of HUD’s programs."


Did I miss something, or is the word "Congress" missing from the above slop ? It appears that the utopians at HUD have decided to give the Hairpiece Gang the middle finger with one hand and setting the Constitution on fire with the other.

HUD's Five-Year Plan is as massive as Barbara Mikuluski and as scary as watching a naked Joyless Behar shave Hitlery Clinton's chubby-wubby legs. Don't believe me ? Think I'm bloviating to hear myself bloviate ?

Here are the low-lights from HUD's Five-Year Plan:


HUD intends to:

"Reduce the number of completed foreclosures.

  • Interim: Assist 3 million homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes due to
  • 200,000 homeowners will be assisted through
    Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs.
  • 400,000 homeowners will be assisted through
    third-party lender loss mitigation initiatives.
    mandated by FHA but not receiving FHA subsidy.
  • 2.4 million homeowners will be assisted through
    joint HUD-Treasury programs.
  • For all FHA borrowers who become 30 days late,
    achieve a Consolidated Claim Workout ratio of 75
    percent, and, for those receiving a CCW, achieve a
    6 month re-default rate of 20 percent or less.
  • Restore FHA’s excess capital reserve ratio to the
    congressionally mandated 2-percent level by 2014.
  • Reduce the average residential vacancy rate in Neighborhood
    Stabilization Program (NSP) investment areas.
  • Interim: Reduce the average residential vacancy rate in
    Neighborhood Stabilization Program Round 2 (NSP2)
    investment areas."


Oh, but wait, there's more:


"The current administration strongly believes that, in addition to the moral imperative to end the human suffering caused by homelessness, there are compelling economic reasons for investing in efforts to eradicate this complex social problem. If individuals and families that are currently cycling through expensive institutions can be targeted for appropriate housing and services, there can be significant cost savings, according to recent studies. To achieve this goal, HUD will partner with local, state, and federal organizations,[but not Congress, of course.] including the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, to deploy evidence-based interventions, such as supportive housing, housing first, homelessness prevention, and rapid rehousing, to more effectively and efficiently use the nation’s limited resources to bring an end to homelessness."

"Stable housing, made possible with HUD support, provides an ideal platform for delivering a wide variety of health and social services to improve health, education, and economic outcomes. Through partnerships at the federal, state, and local levels, HUD will utilize its housing platform to deliver a wide variety of services to improve the quality of life of its residents and the surrounding community. The following subgoals provide a roadmap for accomplishing this goal:
Subgoal 3A:
Utilize HUD assistance to improve educational outcomes and early learning and
Subgoal 3B:
Utilize HUD assistance to improve health outcomes.
Subgoal 3C:
Utilize HUD assistance to increase economic security and self-sufficiency.
Subgoal 3D:
Utilize HUD assistance to improve housing stability through supportive services
for vulnerable populations, including the elderly, people with disabilities, homeless people, and
those individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless.
Subgoal 3E: Utilize HUD assistance to improve public safety."

"The nation’s current housing, economic, health, and energy crises demand that the federal government and its local partners effectively coordinate policies related to community development, climate change, energy efficiency, transportation, housing, and disaster preparedness. Today we know that 'place' influences outcomes—the place where a person lives is a reliable predictor of his or her long-term health, education, and employment outcomes. Families and individuals living in concentrated poverty experience greater inequity and often, as a result, more dismal outcomes.
Unfortunately, many neighborhoods hit hardest by the recent housing and economic crisis—those with the highest foreclosure rates and the most job losses—are among the least sustainable. Residents of these neighborhoods have limited access to transportation, face health hazards in their homes and communities, suffer from the poorest schools, and have the fewest economic opportunities. In many areas, the spatial mismatch between housing and transportation investments
limits access to decent employment and education opportunities for entire neighborhoods.
This not only impacts the lives of residents in those communities, but the resulting need to travel greater distances to connect to these resources has a clear impact on the environment as well—from wetland and open space lost to sprawling development patterns to ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions. To address these problems, Goal 4 focuses explicitly on 'place,' on ensuring inclusivity and preparing communities for the future of their economy, environment, culture, and preparedness in case of disaster. HUD seeks to ensure—through comprehensive community development, strategic planning, enforcement, and enhanced capacity building—that all communities are livable for residents and viable in the long term. The following subgoals provide a roadmap for accomplishing this goal: [Oddly enough, this is the best definition for environmental justice I've found yet. It's even better than Comrade Van's!]
Subgoal 4A:
Catalyze economic development and job creation, while enhancing and preserving
community assets.
Subgoal 4B:
Promote energy-efficient buildings and location-efficient communities that are
healthy, affordable, and diverse.
Subgoal 4C:
Ensure open, diverse, and equitable communities.
Subgoal 4D:
Facilitate disaster preparedness, recovery, and resiliency.
Subgoal 4E: Build the capacity of local, state, and regional public and private organizations."


We are on the edge of  political, social, and economic disaster. I can't gussy it up. I can't make it sound palatable.

God help us all.

(By the way, "Republican" Presidential Candiate Mitt Trotsky's father George was Richard Nixon's HUD Secretary from 1969-1973. Take from that what you will.)



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