Elected officials in Maryland’s Montgomery County are trying to abolish the legal foundation for suburbia — “single-family zoning” — to better aid and encourage a massive inflow of immigrant employees, consumers, and renters.
The council’s decision is expected on Tuesday, July 23, and it is aided by friendly coverage in the local establishment media.
But local voters are protesting that their housing wealth will be devalued by the arrival of many temporary renters, more traffic, and chaotic diversity.
The Washington Post, for example, dismissed the suburban homeowners as “the latest soldiers in a vocal, sometimes ugly war against ADUs [Auxiliary Dwelling Units], a low-cost housing option that planning experts champion as a tool for modernizing an outdated vision of suburban America.”
The paper reported:
We have a housing crisis,” said council member Tom Hucker (D-District 5), citing the difficulty of living in a county where the median price of homes exceeds $400,000. The amendment, he added, “is part of our response.”
ADUs were legalized in Montgomery years ago. But according to Riemer, there are only 475 such dwellings in the county, among 175,000 single-family homes. The zoning amendment would, among other things, remove prohibitions on detached auxiliary dwellings on lots smaller than one acre and in small-lot single-family zones. This would affect about 121,000 residences, though some would remain ineligible to build ADUs because of other regulations.
Progressive experts told the Washington Post that suburbia just has to go for the sake of “equality”:
“The vision of suburbia that people have is just not sustainable anymore in terms of climate change, in terms of social and economic equity,” said [Amanda] Hurley, the urban planning expert. “It needs to change.”
The Democrats’ push to sacrifice the wealth of suburban Americans — and of their heirs — for the welfare of legal and illegal migrants comes as the party is shifting its views to encourage ever greater legal and illegal migration.
Democrat leaders are urging the decriminalization of illegal migration, the offer of taxpayer-funded healthcare to illegals, and the creation of new border loopholes to encourage new waves of migrants.
Mongomery County’s ruling Democrat legislators have played along, and in July 2019, the county executive directed the county police to avoid any cooperation with federal deportation agencies.
This bipartisan support for mass migration has generated massive profits for landowners, retailers, employers, and investors — partly by draining Americans’ wages, salaries, and savings.
In Montgomery County, for example, the federal government’s policy of economic growth by immigration helped boost the county’s population to 972,000 in 2010, up 11 percent in just ten years
Thirty-two percent of Mongomery country are immigrants, according to federal data. Forty percent of the residents older than five speak a language other than English at home. The county’s Asian population is 16 percent, and the Latino population is 20 percent, leaving whites at just 40 percent of the county.
Montgomery County’s immigrants include many university graduates. Their high skills reduce welfare payments and create new jobs — but also create downward pressure on salaries for the county’s young graduates.
The inflow has also included many uneducated migrants, including hard-working but low-wage Central Americans who compete for blue-collar jobs. The inflow of Central Americans also ensured the arrival of some vibrantly diverse MS-13 gang members.
All migrants and Americans need a place to sleep, so housing prices have spiked as the population rises. Median prices were $467,500 during the 2013-to-2017 period, and they rose 4.3 percent to $487,512 in June 2019, according to Long & Foster.
Average rents rose to $1,662, up 5 percent in the year to July 2019, according to rentcafe.com.
The combination of higher housing costs and stalled wages has created a housing crunch. But the county’s Democrat officials are determined to shift the costs to suburbanites, not to the investors, builders, and companies which profit from the arrival of more workers, consumers, and renters.
But the progressive attack on suburbia is a high-risk political gamble, partly because it directly threatens the financial and civic security of many comfortable Democrats. The Post noted:
Trina Leonard, a Democrat, lives with her husband and two children in a single-family home in Bethesda. The retired consultant said they bought the house precisely because of Montgomery’s history of “reliable zoning rules. . . . This is a planned place.”
The amendment, she added, “betrays who we are and what we have, which we’ve meticulously constructed over the years.”
The risk of a political correction is growing, partly because many Democrat officials around the country are trying to crack open suburban neighborhoods to aid the rising tide of young Americans and migrants who cannot afford housing and families in Wall Street’s high-immigration/low-wage economy.
County officials in Arlington, Virginia, city officials in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and state legislators in Oregon have also voted to sacrifice suburban house values to aid immigration.
Govt's economic policy of mass immigration is spiking prices for renters & home-buyers. So NYT offers a 'fix': break up suburbs by adding cheap apartments & subsidized housing. IOW, estb. favors mass immigration over middle-class' suburbs. https://t.co/TSahBlSqVx
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 9, 2019
Breitbart News reported July 9:
The federal government must force tens of millions of suburban voters to sacrifice their houses’ value, their quiet schools, and their green neighborhoods so poor immigrants can have cheaper rents and investors can build more houses, according to the New York Times‘ editorial board.
“The federal government is an irresistible force when it chooses to prioritize an issue. It is past time to prioritize the availability of affordable housing” for immigrants, says the July 7 editorial, titled “A New Approach on Housing Affordability.”
The editorial starts with a complaint about housing prices — but it never mentions the obvious fix: Ending the federal policy of annually importing 1 million immigrant workers, consumers, and renters, which inflates housing prices and class competition for good neighborhoods and good schools. Reduced immigration, in contrast, would raise Americans’ salaries, lower their housing prices, improve their schools, and also disappoint real-estate investors.
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university. This total includes approximately 800,000 Americans who graduate with skilled degrees in business or healthcare, engineering or science, software or statistics.
But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately 1 million H-1B workers and spouses —plus around 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.
The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.
This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it transfers wages to investors and ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.
This policy of flooding the labor market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations.
The cheap-labor economic strategy also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the heartland to the coastal cities, explodes rents and housing costs, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.
The demand by investors for endless migrant labor has created a new thing: The US-India Outsourcing Economy. This no-regulation zone redirects new wealth into a few cities & a small elite. Elites want to expand it, so US college-grads get #HR1044. https://t.co/4lWHtI3sUk
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 19, 2019