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Statement from NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel on the White House Establishing a Council to Eliminate Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing

An effort by this administration to address restrictive local zoning would be welcomed if it weren’t belied by other actions to gut affordable and fair housing in America. The council, made up of the Secretaries of Treasury, Labor, Agriculture and the EPA, will likely work to remove important federal regulations that protect fair wages, fair housing, the environment, and more, and not the restrictive local zoning over which the federal government has very little control. 

One of Secretary Carson’s first acts at HUD was to dismantle the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule that gave local communities tools and guidance to overcome restrictive local zoning. Before coming to HUD, Carson decried efforts to “fundamentally change the nature of some communities from primarily single-family to largely apartment-based areas.” This council isn’t a change of heart from these classic NIMBY sentiments; it’s an attempt to achieve large-scale deregulation while distracting from other efforts to exacerbate the housing crisis through proposals to slash HUD’s budget, eliminate key housing production and preservation programs, increase rents, evict some of our country’s lowest-income and most vulnerable renters, and gut HUD’s existing rules that incentivize local governments to eliminate restrictive zoning.