Affordable Housing

Trump, Biden Voters Both Like Government Housing Spending a Lot More Than Housing Development

A new survey from realty company Redfin finds that only 24 percent of Trump supporters and 32 percent of Biden voters support reducing zoning regulations in their neighborhood.

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden voters diverge wildly on whether to fund low-income housing programs, but both appear unified in opposing new housing being built near them.

That's according to a survey put out last week by real estate company Redfin, which found that only 24 percent of Trump voters and 32 percent of Biden voters supported zoning policies that allowed denser housing in their neighborhood. That compares to 27 percent of all respondents who said they support denser housing in their neighborhood. The Redfin poll surveyed 3,000 U.S. residents over the second week of October.

"Housing is one of the few types of policies that does not fall neatly into liberal or conservative camps," Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement on the company's blog. "While many Americans across both major parties can agree that there's a need for more housing—particularly affordable housing—both Democrats and Republicans are reluctant to see their own neighborhoods become more dense."

Subsidizing housing proved much more popular with respondents of all political persuasions.

Nearly 75 percent of Biden voters said they'd support government incentives for low-income housing development compared to 49 percent of Trump supporters and 59 percent of all survey respondents. Some 66 percent of Biden supporters and half of Trump supporters supported government incentives to build housing of any kind. Subsidizing down payments on homes for working-class families was less popular, capturing support from only 61 percent of Biden voters and 43 percent of Trump voters.

The survey comes on the tail end of a presidential campaign that's featured a surprising amount of discussion of housing and zoning policy.

Trump has frequently pitched himself as the defender of the "suburban lifestyle dream" against a would-be Biden administration that Trump says would abolish single-family zoning and force low-income housing (and the resulting urban dysfunction) into tidy, low-density communities.

That's in contrast to his administration's earlier, pre-election efforts to encourage local and state governments to deregulate their housing markets in order to allow for higher-density housing. White House budget proposals have consistently called for cutting or even eliminating federal housing and development grants, although none of those cuts have materialized.

Given the low bipartisan support for denser housing in the Redfin poll, it makes sense that Trump would see the preservation of suburban single-family zoning as a wedge issue to exploit.

Rather than appeal to the nation's NIMBYs ("not in my backyard"), Biden has put forward a housing platform that's surprisingly pro-deregulation in some aspects. The former vice president has endorsed legislation that would require states and localities to loosen zoning codes and repeal restrictions on new housing as a condition of receiving federal housing and transportation funding.

That's an approach some free marketers have cheered on. In other ways, however, Biden is a typical regulate-and-spend progressive. He's promised to beef up regulations on things like mortgage lending and housing appraisals, and massively boost federal spending on aid to homeowners and renters, and on low-income housing construction.

Whatever one thinks of the government housing spending, that money won't go very far so long as the regulations that drive up the costs of new construction remain on the books. The per-unit costs of building new affordable housing in the high-cost, heavily regulated areas of California are already approaching $1 million.

While Biden voters are relatively less opposed to new housing development in their neighborhoods, their NIMBYism is more likely to have an impact. They're more likely to live in deep blue, high-cost, amenity-rich cities and inner suburbs where there's much more demand for higher density housing, and where regulation, therefore, stifles more housing development. Rural Republicans might like apartment buildings less, but it's also less likely anyone would want to build one next to them even if it were allowed.

Previous polls have found higher baseline support for more neighborhood housing development, but a starker partisan divide on the issue.

A 2019 Cato Institute poll found that 59 percent of Americans support more housing in their neighborhood, including 67 percent of Democrats, 57 percent of independents, and 52 percent of Republicans. Another 2019 poll commissioned by the pro-housing development group California YIMBY ("yes in my backyard") found that 61 percent of that state's voters supported more housing development in their neighborhood.

If the Redfin survey is to be believed, however, it suggests that combating the housing shortage in America's most high-cost areas is an uphill battle that requires convincing a lot more voters of the merits of new housing construction.

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  1. There are those of us who grew up in cities without zoning. Spend some time in Houston and see the paradise. It’s just better to have a little more organizing principle than that.

    1. There is zoning in Houston. I live here. It’s just private, is all. Look for “deed-restricted neighborhood,” and a few other euphemisms. Hilarity can ensue when a suitably unrestricted lot pops up in the heart of the swells’ suburbia: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/sarnoff/article/Court-reverses-Ashby-high-rise-ruling-in-favor-of-8337576.php

      Surprisingly, the single family dwelling neighbors didn’t want to live next to a 20 story residential tower, and had the pull to shut it down for awhile. Other developments have gone in just fine, and the homeowners get told to pound sand.

      1. I quit working at shop rite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier So i try use.
        Here’s what I do…….WORK 24

  2. “Nearly 75 percent of Biden voters said they’d support government incentives for low-income housing development compared to 49 percent of Trump supporters and 59 percent of all survey respondents.”

    This suggests approximately a 40/60 split between Biden and Trump voters in this poll.

    (.75*.4)+(.49*.6)=0.594

    1. Unless there are independents included in the “overall” number

    2. Why does this remind me of an exercise in a theology class I had in high school. An all boys, Catholic high school.

      The teacher had us all fill out a questionnaire. Included amongst many other questions were these two yes or no items:

      1) Do you believe that premarital sex is O.K.?
      2) Do you expect to marry a virgin?

      After compiling the results, the teacher said, “Gentleman, we have a problem!”. Then he wrote only the results for these two questions on the board. 75% believed that premarital sex was O.K. And, 75% said they expected to marry a virgin.

      Although I couldn’t care less about either subject of those questions, the results did open my eyes to how illogical, selfish, myopic and especially, hypocritical human beings are.

      1. They all just expected to pull a train on “that one girl”. 😉

  3. The former vice president has endorsed legislation that would require states and localities to loosen zoning codes and repeal restrictions on new housing as a condition of receiving federal housing and transportation funding.
    That’s an approach some free marketers have cheered on.

    Federal coercion is so free market.

    1. haha! Christian is such a tool. If this were part of the Democratic platform, wouldn’t you see this implemented in California and NY? Biden/Harris can says anything. They’re actions and their party’s actions speak LOUDER than words.

    2. Yes. Which is why we need to limit their powers to those enumerated in the Consititution.

      Where does it say that the Federal government will control housing policy again?

      1. I presume it’s right near the part authorizing federal transportation spending in the first place. *sigh*

  4. There is a good reason for supporters of both president candidates who own their own homes to not want these low or no cost housing being built in their neighborhood. That reason is crime. when these low/no cost housing is built crime comes in with the residents. in addition these dwelling in just a couple of years are all torn up and need extensive repairs. All kinds of junk starts appearing and becomes a breeding ground for all kinds of rodents and kids most of the kids will have a different father for each child. So property values goes down.
    Part of the reason for that degeneration of the community where the low/no cost houses are being built is in most cases the residents are not required to work and what a person has no sweat equity in the houses they have no care about keepin the place presentable. If it gets torn up they will just move to another one and repeat what they did to the previous one.

    1. Come on dude, making people actually work for their government handout is racist. Every rich, white liberal I know tells me so.

    2. It’s way bigger than crime alone.

      It took me a lifetime, literally, to work my way into a really nice neighborhood. One that also happens to be white minority and racially very diverse no less.

      The only issues in this neighborhood are issues caused by the renters. Renters have no vested interest in property outside their rental units. The don’t plan on being here for that long.

  5. “Trump, Biden Voters Both Like Government Housing Spending a Lot More Than Housing Development”

    I TOTALLY believe a famed real estate developer is against … development. Sure, sure, try to wave your hands and libersplain to me that residential and commercial real estate are different. I still think y’all need some TDS counseling.

    1. Ah, missed the voters part. Hmm, ‘Never Mind’ /emily litella voice.

  6. “both Democrats and Republicans are reluctant to see their own neighborhoods become more dense.”

    At least the average Republican is more consistent with his own views on private property, diversity, and crime. These Democrats who also reject high density housing near them are nothing but lying limousine liberals.

    1. “…At least the average Republican is more consistent with his own views on private property, diversity, and crime. These Democrats who also reject high density housing near them are nothing but lying limousine liberals…”

      San Francisco D voter on line 1!

  7. The former vice president has endorsed legislation that would require states and localities to loosen zoning codes and repeal restrictions on new housing as a condition of receiving federal housing and transportation funding.

    It doesn’t take a 101-page document called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” to loosen zoning restrictions. It takes a 101-page document called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” to introduce a whole new program for fucking with the nation’s housing supply when your old programs for fucking with the nation’s housing supply have collapsed and nobody’s buying that shit anymore. Jesus Christ, it’s a government program, we’re supposed to be libertarians, what the fuck have you been smoking that makes you think this government program is somehow different than all the rest?

  8. BTW, this is not really about “density”:

    “…”While many Americans across both major parties can agree that there’s a need for more housing—particularly affordable housing—both Democrats and Republicans are reluctant to see their own neighborhoods become more dense.”…”

    See that ‘affordable housing’ part up there?
    Next time someone tries a poll like this, specify ‘non-government subsidized’ housing and see if the numbers don’t change.

  9. Well people on the left expected to run away with this because Biden was up in the polls, but polling methods are no longer reliable. Biden could still win but it’s going to be tight and likely we’ll be waiting until Friday for Pennsylvania results to be finalized………USA PART TIME JOB.

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