Trump, Biden Spar Over Suburbs In Debate

The future of suburbs briefly took center stage Tuesday night in the first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden – continuing a months-long dispute on the issue between the two.

Following up an exchange about crime in American cities, Trump brought up the issue by saying, “By the way, the suburbs would be gone.”

Biden: “You wouldn’t know a suburb unless you took a wrong turn …”

Trump: “… I know the suburbs.”

Biden: “Suburbs are by and large integrated. People driving their kids to soccer practice are black and white and Hispanic in the same care more than at any time in the past. (Suburbs) are dealing with Covid. They are dying in the suburbs. They are being flooded and burned out. That is why the suburbs are in trouble.”

The debate over the suburbs kicked off in July, when Trump rescinded President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which Trump said, “took away decision-making from local communities.”

Part of the Fair Housing Act, the AFFH rule under Obama was designed to “set out a framework for local governments, States, and public housing agencies to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Under the old AFFH rule, HUD provides a Far Housing AFH Assessment Tool, “which includes instructions and data provided by HUD, consists of a series of questions designed to help program participants identify, among other things, fair housing issues pertaining to patterns of integration and segregation; racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty; disparities in access to opportunity; and disproportionate housing needs, as well as the contributing factors for those issues.”