Enjoying your house in the suburbs or small town? Glad not to live in the nearby city where many folks resort to crime, neglect maintaining their residences, don’t watch their children, and never care about improving their lives?
Joe Biden’s American Jobs Act will change that by bringing the city to you. Here’s the plan:
Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. For decades, exclusionary zoning laws – like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements, and prohibitions on multifamily housing – have inflated housing and construction costs and locked families out of areas with more opportunities.
President Biden is calling on Congress to enact an innovative, new competitive grant program that awards flexible and attractive funding to jurisdictions that take concrete steps to eliminate such needless barriers to producing affordable housing.
“Affordable Housing” means Section 8 vouchers for houses and apartments, given to low income persons, who then are allowed to spend no more than 10% of their monthly income on housing.
Apartment costs $1,200 on open market, and government can establish its value at 90% to 110% of that value.
At 100% median the apartment is worth $1,200 and a voucher is issued for Section 8.
Voucher holder earns $10 an hour or $1,720 a month.
Rent is established at 10% or $172 per month.
Landlord receives full $1,200 between government and low-income voucher recipient.
Suppose you have an apartment building that’s not too popular and can’t get full rent? Section 8 is ideal for you. Same thing for houses in lousy neighborhoods, because the government doesn’t distinguish between a good or bad place to raise children.
Landlords with sometimes thousands of properties must love Section 8.
But these lords of the slum have a problem.
They have almost run out of city properties to rent. Too many empty lots full of garbage is one cause. Drug-infested zombies roaming other neighborhoods is a no-no. Most of all, cities are falling apart and building or repairing there is an endless, expensive project, particularly with arson and vandalism always on the offing.
Biden’s plan will move Section 8 to the suburbs and rural areas by luring communities with grants to accept as many low-income projects and rehabs as possible. This will be done by eliminating much of the zoning code and making it illegal for anyone to require houses be constructed on minimum-sized lots.
Developers are salivating.
Suddenly, they can buy your neighbor’s house with its one-acre lot, build a three-story apartment building with eight or more apartments, and rent them for $1,000-a-month or more.
Without zoning that forbids apartment building in the middle of a single-home residential area. Who can stop these profiteers?
You might wonder who would want to live in an apartment adjacent your house. Where’s the market?
With Biden’s plan you don’t need a market, just Section 8 vouchers that guarantee you never have to worry about rent again.
What about the value of your house with this new structure and conclave of folks, who only need a couple hundred dollars per month to live in your community?
Tough luck. You have “Suburban Privilege”, despite your race, religion or national origin. Everyone deserves what you may have worked hard to accomplish. It’s called equity.
Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX24) calls the “jobs act” another delivery” of radical campaign promises, but not the ones you might expect from a transportation branded bill – it’s the beginning of the end for America’s suburbs.”
Through this policy proposal, municipalities will be incentivized to cancel single-family zoning, the cornerstone of suburban neighborhood development.
This plan builds on the Obama-Biden administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing policy that was revoked during my time at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by Secretary Ben Carson because he said it was “unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with, too often resulting in funds being steered away from communities that need them most.”
The Home Act of 2019 by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) would eliminate “exclusionary zoning policies and local regulations that contribute to sprawl.”
Van Duyne said Booker’s press release defines sprawl causation as “exclusionary zoning laws, for example, are local ordinances that ban apartment buildings from certain residential areas.”
I live in Irving, Texas, or as the leftists in Biden’s administration would call it, sprawl. If you live in a home that dares to have a yard, trees, space between you and a neighbor, and you work hard to pay a mortgage, you are likely a target, she explained.
The goal of this is to dismantle local control of municipal zoning by using federal housing grants. With many cities struggling to deal with budget cuts due to the loss of revenue during the pandemic, it’s understandable why Biden includes this under the guise of a transportation bill.
She explained that in liberal states, “stopping the growth of single-family neighborhoods has already begun to take root.”
Last year, Oregon passed legislation eliminating single-family zoning for most of the state. A bill reintroduced in the California legislature would allow six to eight units where one home stands now. Across the nation there are over 200,000 homes owned by corporations, which amounts to over $220 billion in housing wealth that could be owned by working families. Instead, corporations are managing single-family rentals.
If you live in a home that dares to have a yard, trees, space between you and a neighbor, and you work hard to pay a mortgage, you are likely a target.
After suffering severe losses during the 2020 election in suburban districts, Democrats believe they have found a solution to improve their election prospects: urbanize the suburbs.
For both Black and White families, Suburbia has been an American dream:
The strength of our communities lies in their differences, and the ability of people to choose the kind of city where they want to raise their family or retire. It means stopping the heavy hand of federal social engineering from taking away local control and destroying the single-family zoning that has made our suburbs affordable and attractive for all kinds of families.
As the White House feeds us altruistic “benefits” of ending real zoning protection, the slumlords are in the background, prodding lawmakers for more Section 8 opportunities to rent high and lower home values around their new monuments to destruction of the middle class in the name of equity.
First full-time job at 17 was dollar-an-hour newspaper copyboy at the Evening and Sunday Bulletin (760,000 daily). Promotions led to general assignments and rewrite at that Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper (1964 and 1965). After the Bulletin, served as the editor of Valley Forge Sentinel and Conshohocken Recorder, Sr. VP of their newspaper group in 1972, and became publisher in 1975 of the West Oak Lane Leader - an African-American community newspaper - for the next 18 years.
In 1993 named president of ING's 18-newspapers in Metro Philadelphia and New Jersey. Company was later purchased by JRC (NYSE), and I was appointed publisher of the Montgomery/Bucks/Philly newspaper division by the infamous Journal Register CEO Bob Jelenic.
During the 60s and 70s, I corresponded for the United States Information Agency, reporting and writing for publication in foreign countries.
This website never runs ads, asks for donations, or reveals any information about its readers and contributors.
View all posts by Fred Donaldson