BREAKING: New Federal HUD Rule Validates Center’s RhodeMapRI Claims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2015

As Forewarned, HUD Finalizes Rule in Effort to Desegregate Local Neighborhoods via Plans like RhodeMap RI
State Planning Officials Denied True Agenda and Federal Connection

Providence, RI — Following weeks of speculation in national news stories, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week has finalized a new housing rule that confirms the federal connection and hidden agenda of the controversial RhodeMapRI plan, as forewarned almost 9 months ago by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity

“Despite denials by officials from the RI Division of Planning, it is now fully apparent that RhodeMap RI is nothing more than a Trojan Horse to implement a federal agenda,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “RhodeMap RI is a social-engineering tool of the federal government that will supersede the sovereignty of municipalities and will infringe upon the rights of private property owners … all in the name of the HUD’s warped vision of how to achieve social equity.”

Rhode Island administration officials have continually denied any connection with this federal agenda, yet recent developments belie their claim. The stealth advancement of the true agenda behind the RhodeMap RI plan, as the Center has maintained from day one, was further validated at a recent forum conducted by the nationally renowned Brookings Institution, a major supporter of the Obama administration’s anti-suburban ‘regionalist’ policies. In a video of the event, one supporter of the new HUD rule stated in effect, that keeping the purpose of the rule “obscure” may be the best political strategy to “get it through” (1:23:43 mark). Similarly, the Center has suggested that this type of intentional deception is how RhodeMap RI was able to become an official part of the state guide plan without any approval of the RI General Assembly.

This revelation is important, as two critical pieces of related legislation are now in legislative limbo due to the abrupt closure of the 2015 legislative session:

House bill H6107-A, which stealthily passed the House Finance Committee in an eleventh hour suspended-rules maneuver, would provide RhodeMap RI proponents with a vital tool to advance its agenda … namely, to expand a dual-tiered property tax system that would likely raise property taxes on single-family homeowners; but could also reduce overall revenues to municipalities by dramatically reducing property taxes on a multitude of loosely defined affordable housing units. Potentially unconstitutional in Rhode Island, a similar policy in the town of Barrington is being challenged in a citizen-initiated lawsuit now in the state’s Superior Court.

Conversely, House bill H6040-A, which passed the entire House, would restore some measure of sovereignty to municipal governments by allowing them to opt out of some of the more burdensome housing mandates of the RhodeMap RI plan.

Neither bill had the chance to be officially considered in the Senate.

Rhode Islanders are encouraged to contact their legislators to reduce the negative impact of RhodeMap RI via an easy-to-use online tool at The Gaspee Project, a partner organization.

The Center has published multiple reports and related analysis pieces on RhodeMap RI, which can be viewed at RIFreedom.org/PropertyRights.

Media Contact:
Mike Stenhouse, CEO
401.429.6115 | info@rifreedom.org

About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise think tank. The mission of the 501c3 nonprofit organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.

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