The Trump administration reportedly is considering cuts at the Department of Housing and Urban Development of more than $6 billion, which could particularly hit public housing support programs hard, according to The Washington Post.
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The potential cut is expected to reduce public housing support and end most federally funded community development grants, such as those that help to repair abandoned properties in low-income neighborhoods.
HUD’s preliminary budget would shrink by about 14 percent to $40.5 billion in fiscal 2018, if approved, The Washington Post reports. Up to $1.3 billion could be cut from the public housing capital fund, while $600 million from a public housing operating fund could be affected. That means programs on the chopping block could include the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which provides block grants for local communities to build affordable housing, and Choice Neighborhoods, a program that invests in redeveloping low-income communities. Also, programs like the Community Development Block Grant Program could have its $3 billion in funds cut entirely.
The budget document “is still a work in progress,” says HUD spokesman Jereon Brown.
The preliminary budget does generally continue the level of funding for rental assistance programs, The Washington Post reports. HUD reportedly will recommend that many of the programs targeted for budget reductions surrounding building maintenance and community development projects be funded by other agencies.
Some housing agencies are already expressing concerns about the preliminary budget.
“These sorts of cuts could … increase the number of families and people who are homeless because housing is less affordable,” Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, told The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump has a goal to cut domestic spending by $54 billion in order to provide greater support to the defense budget. Trump will release the complete budget plan next week.
John Czwartacki, Office of Management and Budget spokesman, called the HUD budget document an “internal discussion” at this point and too preliminary to comment on yet.
“The president and his Cabinet are working collaboratively as we seek to create a budget that keeps the president’s promises to secure the country and prioritize taxpayer funds,” Czwartacki said.
Source: “Trump Administration Considers $6 Billion Cut to HUD Budget,” The Washington Post (March 8, 2017)