President Donald Trump warned you. In the name of equity and inclusion, the Biden administration is making moves that target the suburbs with federal regulation. It will pull zoning decisions away from city councils through the federal government’s typical mechanism to impose its will where it has no business intruding in our layered federalist system.
As part of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, the Biden administration is pushing local governments to allow apartment buildings in neighborhoods that are restricted to single-family homes. The administration claims it’s a way to ease a national affordable housing shortage and combat racial injustice in the housing market.
Current zoning laws that favor single-family homes, known as exclusionary zoning, have disproportionately hurt low-income people who can’t afford to move to the suburbs, the administration said. Their only choice is living in crowded apartment buildings. Biden’s proposal would incentivize local governments to get rid of exclusionary zoning by awarding grants and tax credits to cities that change their zoning regulations.
So, the Biden administration wants people to move from apartments in dense urban areas to apartments in neighborhoods in the suburbs. Not apartments in suburban towns, which often have a decent selection of apartments and townhomes for rent. The administration wants apartment buildings in developments zoned for single-family homes. They will use grants and tax credits as the carrot and eventually pull highway funds through the Booker Amendment as a stick.
These are not the apartments often built in what is termed cradle-to-grave housing. Several developments in the Atlanta suburbs contain apartments, townhomes, single-family homes, and 55-and-over sections. They are planned communities where all residents use common areas, except for some reserved just for the active senior population. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (AFFH), an Obama administration policy, has always called for high-density, low-income housing in the suburbs.