Trump HUD Budget Cuts Will Hurt Millions
President Trump’s proposed budget includes $6 Billion in potential cuts to HUD that will have a significant impact on affordable housing. The proposed cuts, which amount to nearly 14% of HUD’s budget, could cause properties “in which billions of dollars have been invested over decades to fall further into disrepair” according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). Proposed cuts would in part come from the Public Housing Capital Fund (about $1.3 Billion) and the Public Housing Operating Fund (about $600 Million). These funds are allocated for building maintenance and community development projects.
The NLIHC estimates that over 200,000 families would lose support due to cuts to housing choice voucher grant assistance programs. In addition, low income seniors and disabled people will be at higher risk of eviction due to loss of rental assistance funds. Trulia Chief Economist, Ralph McLaughlin, predicts that the cuts will cause the affordable housing inventory shortage to increase in major markets. Mr. McLaughlin also predicts that cuts to Sections 8, 802 and 811 programs and others “could undermine housing market recovery in communities where affordable housing, economic opportunity, public services and community development is undersupplied by the private sector”. He believes that the costs will put 8 million people at risk of losing public housing and 4 million people will be at risk of losing rental subsidiaries.
Diane Yentel, President/CEO of NLHIC, called the cuts “Draconian” and said that the cuts could cause homelessness. The NLHIC, in its Case for Increased Federal Investment in Affordable Housing, argues that evidenced based research shows that families with stable, accessible homes are better able to find employment and achieve mobility. Housing causes positive impacts for families. The proposed cuts will be harmful to families.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson, in his Senate confirmation hearings, seemed to agree with this as he expressed support for HUD homeownership programs. The NLHIC and other groups have called on Secretary Carson to uphold his commitment as stated in his testimony. So far, the only word from the Secretary is the release of an email from Secretary Carson to HUD employees telling the employees that the budget numbers are just starting numbers for negotiation. However, Secretary Carson has not assured anyone, inside or outside of HUD where he stands or where the budget will end up.
The president’s commitment to affordable housing appears to be in jeopardy. In fact, there does not appear to be any commitment to affordable housing at the federal level or from this administration. The loss of this finding will have a devastating affect on a large number of people across the country and state and local governments can’t make up the short fall. Progressive cities will continue to involve the private sector to combat this crises. The problem has the potential to grow exponentially. If the proposed budget is passed as presented, government participation at all levels is necessary to solve and prevent homelessness and to provide affordable housing.