Alana Semuels reports that President Donald Trump is already going back on his campaign promises to help America’s inner cities and African American communities. Writes Semuels, “His proposed budget eliminates programs that have helped these communities for years, and would deal a particular blow to Americans with the lowest incomes.”
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs help urban low-income populations. HUD is just one of the agencies that saw its funding slashed in the budget released on March 16, 2017.
HUD operates America’s public housing, administers Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers for low-income individuals and families, and gives grants that help nonprofits and developers invest in apartments and parks in urban neighborhoods.
The President’s budget proposes a $6.2 billion cut from HUD next year. This budget cut is an over 13% decrease from the current HUD funding level. For full details read our recent post What Would $6 Billion in HUD Budget Cuts Mean?
The budget would cut the $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Quoting from the budget, CDBG “is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results.”
The budget also cuts the HOME Improvement Partnership Program which has successfully helped low-income households buy or renovate homes.
The Choice Neighborhoods program also faces cuts.
And the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness would be eliminated.
“Trump’s proposed cuts represent the most severe funding threat to HUD since the early days of the Reagan administration, according to Diane Yentel, the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a nonprofit.”
According to Sunia Zaterman, the executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, more detailed budget which some news outlets are reporting to have seen also cuts “hundreds of thousands of vouchers from the Section 8 program, which is facing severe shortages … Already, some public-housing agencies have decided not to open long-closed voucher waiting lists because of the uncertainty around the funding of the vouchers.”
Writes Semuels, “Of course, this document is just a starting point, and there will be many negotiations over the budget yet to come. HUD Secretary Ben Carson reportedly sent a memo to employees last week to reassure staffers that the numbers were preliminary, and that “starting numbers are rarely final numbers,” according to the Associated Press.
But the document indicates where the Trump administration’s priorities lie. And they don’t seem to include many programs that have helped cities’ poorest residents.”
Please join us for the 2017 Congressional Reception to advocate that Mr. Trump and Congress must lift the spending caps with parity for defense and non-defense programs and ensure the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing.