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Fact check: Biden did not say he lived in Section 8 housing

Thousands of social media users are sharing posts that say Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden lied about having lived in Section 8 housing, which is reserved for very low-income families. On Oct. 15, Biden said that an apartment he had lived in later became Section 8 housing, not that he lived in Section 8 housing.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The posts ( here , here , here , here , here ) say, “Biden said he lived in Sec 8 housing as a little boy? Sec 8 started in 1974 when he was 30 years old. Gaffe or just another lie? Lie,” or “Biden said today, He lived in Section 8 housing as a little boy… Section 8 didn’t begin until 1974…”

Section 8, now called the housing choice voucher program, is designed to assist very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled to afford housing from the private market (here). The social media posts are correct in saying that Section 8 was introduced in 1974 (www.hud.gov/about/hud_history), and that Biden, being born in 1942 (here), would have been over 30 years old when Section 8 was introduced.

Biden mentioned Section 8 once during his Oct. 15 town hall, just prior to these posts being shared on social media (according to data by CrowdTangle). The town hall was broadcast instead of the second presidential debate that was cancelled following Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis (here).

Responding to a question about disillusioned young Black voters, Biden explained his own family situation to illustrate a point about the need to facilitate the accumulation of wealth for everyone. Biden said his dad lost his job and he was sent to live with his granddad for a time before returning to his father: “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.” (This exchange is visible tinyurl.com/y682x8yf )

Biden moved into that apartment, which was located in Claymont, Delaware, when he was 10 and lived there for a few years before moving to Wilmington (more on his story joebiden.com/joes-story/ , here , here , here ).

Reuters found no recent examples in news reports or speeches of Biden claiming to have lived in Section 8 housing.

VERDICT

False. In his town hall, Biden said that when he was a child he lived in apartments that “much later” became Section 8 housing. He did not say that he lived in Section 8 housing, which was introduced in 1974.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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