HUD's 'Fair Housing' Assault on Local Communities
A case study of crony advocacy in proposed rule writing
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its long-awaited proposal "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing" in July with the intent of restructuring zoning practices in local jurisdictions and neighborhoods across the country. At a Capitol Hill luncheon event, Westchester County Executive, Robert Astorino, will present his first-hand experience with HUD's demands to sue localities over common zoning regulations in an effort to dismantle local zoning as it is known today.

Cornelia Mrose, co-host of WVOX's The Steve Mayo Show, will present her original research analyzing the comments submitted for HUD's proposed rule "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing". It is a textbook case of crony advocacy. Her analysis of the hundreds of comments submitted during the comment period on the proposed ruling found that an overwhelming majority of commenting non-profit organizations are stakeholders of HUD and support the new ruling. Many of these HUD affiliated and HUD funded groups submitted comments based on engineered templates. In contrast, comments by individual citizens make up almost two thirds of all comments with a vast majority of citizens opposing the ruling.

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Tara Kroll at 202.862.5813.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact, 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Rob Astorino was reelected Westchester County executive in 2013 with nearly 57 percent of the vote. He won by delivering on the bold reforms he promised in his first campaign. His 2 percent reduction in the county property-tax levy was more than any county in the past four years. He also managed to reduce county spending by 5.2 percent by cutting waste, reducing his own staff by 19 percent, and requiring health care contributions from elected officials and his staff. He even got seven of eight government unions to start contributing to their own health care. These reforms and other sensible reforms allowed Westchester to create more than 27,000 new private-sector jobs and retain the highest-in-the-state credit rating. Before taking office as county executive, he was the station manager and program director of the Catholic channel on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and hosted a weekly radio show from St. Patrick’s Cathedral with Cardinals Edward Egan and Timothy M. Dolan. In 2001, he helped launch ESPN Radio in New York and became the station’s senior producer. Astorino was first elected to public office at age 21, serving as a member of the Mount Pleasant Board of Education. He went on to serve for 12 years as a councilman on the Mount Pleasant Town Board, including 6 years as deputy supervisor. In 2003, he was elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

Cornelia Mrose is the cohost of “The Steve Mayo Show” at WVOX in Westchester County. Born and raised in Germany, she has worked as a software developer for Software AG in Germany and for Lloyds Bank and Smallworld in England. In 2003, she moved from London to the US. Cornelia is active in local politics and lives with her husband and their three teenaged daughters in Westchester County.

Edward J. Pinto, an executive vice president and chief credit officer for Fannie Mae until the late 1980s, has done groundbreaking research on the role of government housing policies in the lead-up to the financial crisis. In particular, his data have revealed striking facts about the contributions of housing policy to the mortgage crisis. Two of his major research papers, “Government housing policies in the lead-up to the financial crisis: A forensic study” and “Triggers of the financial crisis,” were submitted to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. At AEI, Pinto is continuing his work on the role of housing policies in the financial crisis and researching policy considerations and options for rebuilding America’s housing-finance sector.

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AEI Participants


Edward J.
  • American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident fellow Edward J. Pinto is the codirector of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk. He is currently researching policy options for rebuilding the US housing finance sector and specializes in the effect of government housing policies on mortgages, foreclosures, and on the availability of affordable housing for working-class families. Pinto writes AEI’s monthly Housing Risk Watch, which has replaced AEI’s FHA Watch. Along with AEI resident scholar Stephen Oliner, Pinto is the creator and developer of the AEI Pinto-Oliner Mortgage Risk, Collateral Risk, and Capital Adequacy Indexes.

    An executive vice president and chief credit officer for Fannie Mae until the late 1980s, Pinto has done groundbreaking research on the role of federal housing policy in the 2008 mortgage and financial crisis. Pinto’s work on the Government Mortgage Complex includes seminal research papers submitted to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: “Government Housing Policies in the Lead-up to the Financial Crisis” and “Triggers of the Financial Crisis.” In December 2012, he completed a study of 2.4 million Federal Housing Administration (FHA)–insured loans and found that FHA policies have resulted in a high proportion of working-class families losing their homes.

    Pinto has a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Phone: 240-423-2848
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Emily Rapp
    Phone: 202-419-5212
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