Facebook posts falsely claim that at his Oct. 15 town hall event, former Vice President Joe Biden said he grew up in Section 8 housing. Biden actually said he lived in a building which “became Section 8 housing much later.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden often refers to his working-class upbringing in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Claymont, Delaware. However, Biden’s most recent comments about his childhood have been misquoted in a number of Facebook posts.
These viral memes falsely claim that at the televised town hall in Philadelphia on Oct. 15, Biden said he grew up in Section 8 housing. One such Facebook post, which has been shared nearly 4,000 times, claims: “Biden said today, He lived in Section 8 housing as a little boy…Section 8 didn’t begin until 1974…”
But that’s not what he said.
It is true that Section 8 housing did not exist in the 1940s, when Biden was a child. The program was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and authorized by Congress in 1974. It gives private landlords a rental subsidy to rent apartments and homes to qualified low-income tenants.
The transcript of the town hall meeting shows that Biden did not say he grew up in Section 8 housing — but that the building he once lived in later became Section 8 housing.
Biden, Oct. 15: Look, this is the way every other, how do most, like my dad, he lost his job up in Scranton and it took him three years to be able — he moved down to Delaware to Claymont (inaudible), a little steel town. And sent us home to our grandpop to live with him. We finally got back, we lived in apartments. Became Section 8 housing much later, it wasn’t — it was just normal apartments. But it took him five years to be able to buy a home.
Clearly, the social media posts misquote what Biden said at the town hall meeting.
Biden often tells this story about his childhood. A day after the ABC News town hall, Biden repeated it during a campaign speech in Michigan. “We got an apartment we lived in, and ended up being Section 8 housing years later, but it was decent,” Biden said. “We were happy.”
And, before he clinched his party’s nomination, Biden said this at a Feb. 17 town hall in Nevada: “We moved down to a little steel town called Claymont, Delaware. It took three years, but my dad finally got us a house and we lived in what is now Section 8 housing, was Section 8 housing. There wasn’t any Section 8 then.”
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“Joe Biden” Britannica.com. Accessed. 21 Oct 2020.
Joe Biden Reno, Nevada Town Hall Campaign Transcript — February 17, 2020. Rev.com. 17 Feb 2020.
Joe Biden Southfield, MI Speech on Health Care. Rev.com. 16 Oct 2020.
Kapur, Sahil. “‘Scranton versus Park Avenue’: Biden leans into economic populist pitch” NBC. 23 Sep 2020.
“Read the full transcript of Joe Biden’s ABC News town hall” ABC. 15 Oct 2020.
“Section 8 Program Background Information.” HUD.gov. Accessed 21 Oct 2020.
“What is Section 8?” Homeforward.org. Accessed 21 Oct 2020.