Housing in Biden’s America

Low-income families hung out to dry

Joe Biden may talk a good game when it comes to support for low-income housing, but the devil is in the details. A closer look at his actual votes and policies clearly demonstrates that he is no friend to the poor.

Biden’s 110-page unity statement with Bernie Sanders includes a promise to “repair and rehabilitate public housing through a major investment in the refurbishment of housing facilities.”

That sounds pretty good on the surface. Clearly, no one wants poor citizens relegated to living in broken down, rat-infested crime dens. But when you dig a little deeper, Biden’s promises rapidly lose their luster.

Government red tape and outdated laws have long stymied efforts to improve the availability and condition of low-income housing. Sadly, Biden’s votes made a bad situation even worse.

In 1990, Biden voted against an amendment to the National Affordable Housing Act exempting low-income housing projects from the Davis-Bacon Act.

A relic from the 1930s, the Davis-Bacon Act forces contractors to pay the highest prevailing local wage—typically the union wage—for work on public contracts. The bill says those workers must receive that high wage regardless of their individual skill or the nature of the job they are performing.

The more tax-payer dollars unnecessarily spent on wages, the less that’s available to invest in the housing projects themselves. Between 2018 and 2026, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the constraints of the Davis-Bacon Act will cost the federal government $13 billion.

That is $13 billion that could be invested in improving the availability and condition of low income housing and other worthwhile projects.

When it comes down to a choice between bolstering the bottom line of his rich, left-wing, union-connected buddies and helping low-income citizens with affordable housing, Biden will choose his cronies every time.