Biden Infrastructure Bill Would End Zoning Laws to ‘Diversify’ Suburbs

(USA Features) President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending bill contains language that would change local zoning laws to allow for “affordable” housing units while ending single-family dwelling neighborhoods common to suburbs.

According to a fact sheet for the American Jobs Plan, the $213 billion housing initiative is “an innovative new approach” that aims “to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.”

“It pairs this investment with an innovative new approach to eliminate state and local exclusionary zoning laws, which drive up the cost of construction and keep families from moving to neighborhoods with more opportunities for them and their kid,” the fact sheet says.

“The President’s plan will help address the growing cost of rent and create jobs that pay prevailing wages, including through project labor agreements with a free and fair choice to join a union and bargain collectively,” it adds.

“President Biden’s plan will extend affordable housing rental opportunities to underserved communities nationwide, including rural and tribal areas,” the fact sheet continues. “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.”

Last summer, then-President Donald Trump rescinded Obama-Biden-era housing rules, arguing that doing so was necessary to protect home and property values in suburban neighborhoods.

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“I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood,” Trump announced at the time. “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”

During last year’s campaign, Trump warned that Biden would reinstitute the rule if he was elected.

“They want to abolish — and really hurt — the suburbs, because under their plan…they don’t mind if low-income housing is built in…a beautiful suburb,” he said during a tele-rally in June.

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“This has been going on for years. Obama made it much worse,” he added.

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