HUD Needs Faith If It’s Going to Shrink Poverty

(Reuters photo)

Since the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has expanded its mandate to enforce these laws by labeling everything that is not equal, from the educational experience and housing, to the relative wealth of your residential zip code, as discriminatory. 

HUD, formed as part of President Johnson’s “Great Society,” has assumed the role of lifting the poor from poverty. A “great” cause perhaps, but one which the agency is ill-equipped to administer.

HUD employs initiatives like “Move to Opportunity” and “socio-economic diversity” to pull low-income families out of poverty by moving them. The theory goes that by living in more affluent areas, the success of the well-off will carry over to those who are struggling.

Soon to be HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, in a 2015 op-ed, compared the Obama administration’s efforts to the “failure of school busing.” He is right.

Relocating low-income families as if they were hair plugs in a federally funded transplant operation does not grow prosperity. Just ask the families in East Palo Alto, California, where students have been shipped into tony Silicon Valley for nearly a quarter-century. At best the results are mixed and decades later, classmates still hang out with their friends from the old neighborhood.

HUD’s upward mobility programs are bound to fail because they contain no mechanism for helping people build economic success. Rather than accept the fundamental truth that mental attitude and job opportunities are key to financial advancement, the agency instead uses its own circular logic. HUD concludes that financial lack is the result of discrimination, and reasons it is the discrimination that prevents the poor from living where there is less financial lack. Hence their solution, move them “to opportunity.”

HUD’s anti-poverty approach is reminiscent of Mark Twain’s old truism, “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” To HUD, armed with civil rights law, everything looks like discrimination.

But communities are already beginning to eliminate poverty using faith based programs that help people get jobs and leave discrimination in the rearview window.

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SOURCE: Charisma News
John Anthony, Sustainable Freedom Lab