Fact Check

Did Biden Say He Grew Up in Section 8 Housing?

It appears that some social media users misheard — or misrepresented — a remark made during an ABC News town hall.

Published Oct 20, 2020

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Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he grew up in section 8 housing during a town hall debate.

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In October 2020, a claim started to circulate social media positing that Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden said that he grew up in Section 8 housing: 

This claim is based on something Biden said during an ABC News town hall on Oct. 15, 2020. But while Biden did mention Section 8 housing during this event — a reference to a section of the U.S. Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 that offered assistance to low-income Americans — he never said that he lived in Section 8 housing. 

What Biden did say was that he used to live in a building that "much later" became Section 8 housing.

Here's a transcript of Biden's comment from ABC News:

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.

Biden made this comment while he was responding to a question about why the Black community should support his bid to win the presidency. This portion of the town hall begins at the 1:24:50 mark of the following video. Biden's comment about Section 8 housing can be seen at 1:30:45.

Biden did not say that he used to live in Section 8 housing. He said that he lived in a building that "much later" became Section 8 housing. 


Semuels, Alana.   "How Housing Policy Is Failing America's Poor."     The Atlantic.   24 June 2015.

ABC News.   "Read the Full Transcript of Joe Biden's ABC News Town Hall."     15 October 2020.

Reuters.   "Fact Check: Biden Did Not Say He Lived in Section 8 Housing."     19 October 2020.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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