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Infrastructure “Biggest Impediment” to Workforce Housing, But GOP Rejects Housing Elements of Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

Speaking of socialism and housing, longtime tax increment financing advocate and consultant Tobin Morris told the Interim Workforce Housing Needs Committee last month that the biggest impediment to housing development in South Dakota is infrastructure:

Tobin Morris, Collier Securities LLC, notes for presentation to SD Legislature Interim WOrkforce Housing Needs Committee, 2021.06.09, p. 1, annotated by DFP.
Tobin Morris, Collier Securities LLC, notes for presentation to SD Legislature Interim Workforce Housing Needs Committee, 2021.06.09, p. 1, annotated by DFP.

Hmm… so the biggest thing the interim committee could do to encourage the building of more houses in South Dakota would be to endorse President Biden’s infrastructure plan and tell our Congressional delegation to support billions of dollars in new federal investment in roads, water pipes, and other crucial residential infrastructure, right?

Except—oh, darn!—Republicans balked at investing in housing and pushed the President’s affordable housing plans out of the compromise deal announced last month:

Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver praised the president for finding consensus, but he also criticized the absence of housing provisions.

“While I am pleased President Biden has been able to bridge the divide between parties and find a bipartisan infrastructure deal, the failure to include funding for affordable housing is a bipartisan disservice to the American people,” Cleaver said in a statement Thursday evening.

…Biden’s original $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal included more than $200 million for affordable housing, a proposal Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said could lead to thousands of new homes in Kansas City.

…Biden announced his support for a compromise Thursday that would spend $973 billion over five years and $1.2 trillion over eight years if extended, roughly half his initial proposal. The housing provisions championed by Cleaver and Lucas were among the items dropped from the bipartisan plan.

The Senate plan would steer the bulk of the money to roads, bridges and other projects that Republicans regard as fitting the more traditional definition of infrastructure [Bryan Lowry, “Cleaver Laments Lack of Money for Affordable Housing in Biden’s Infrastructure Deal,” Kansas City Star, 2021.06.25].

Affordable housing depends on affordable infrastructure. President Biden is willing to pay for the infrastructure that a longtime Republican insider just told the Legislature is the biggest obstacle to building more housing for our workers. But South Dakota’s Republicans can’t see their way past their partisanship to forge the practical solution South Dakota’s workers need.


  1. Richard Schriever 2021-07-06 10:07

    I’m wondering where the work-force housing development is in Lennox he claims on his CV?? I’ve lived here 18 years now and I don’t see any.

  2. John Dale 2021-07-06 13:34

    Priorities .. we need to fix the border and elections, first.

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-07-06 14:15

    Why John, then what would trumpies run on?

  4. Loren 2021-07-06 15:00

    Anyone know of a good “John Dale” filter? !@#$%^&!

  5. Guy 2021-07-06 20:31

    The President’s move on infrastructure shines a very bright spotlight on the shortcomings and greed of the Republican Party. It also shows their ignorance of what “infrastructure” truly encompasses and includes a lot more than just what the Republicans think it is and want for their donors. The Republicans always like to talk about FREEDOM and how it supports the workers of the country. But, they always fail to understand that “their view of FREEDOM” is not always reality for the vast majority of us that work hourly jobs. They continually express how the “FREE MARKET” will always “lift every ship up”…the “ships” being each of us. Once again they fail or do not care to understand that not everyone is an entrepreneur and not everyone can be. We will always need workers and we should always value any job that is required and respect the person who fulfills that job. Is it still too much to ask for infrastructure that supports the expansion of more affordable housing for service workers? It’s as if they can not get enough of CHEAP LABOR, but, Lord forbid they have to pay a fair and living wage for their labor. Labor should be more expensive, whether it comes from a hard working American Citizen or a hard working Citizen from another country here on a visa. We need to support equitable pay and housing for ALL workers, whether from here or another country and say NO MORE CHEAP LABOR and cramming dozens of Visa Holders into one small house that they share while they work different shifts.

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