Community Development Block Grants, the HOME program, and the Choice Neighborhoods initiative are all eliminated in President Donald Trump’s budget proposal released today.
The new administration’s fiscal 2018 blueprint slashes funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by $6.2 billion, or 13.2%, from current levels, with the agency receiving $40.7 billion in gross discretionary funding.
There are also major cuts to public housing and rental assistance programs that millions of low-income families and seniors rely on to meet their housing needs. (Read more about potential cuts to public housing programs.)
In addition, funding for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., better known as NeighborWorks America, would be eliminated.
Affordable housing advocates expected a grim budget after an early copy was leaked, but they hoped that the proposal would be much improved before today’s release. Instead, the budget maintains the anticipated cuts that housing leaders say will devastate families and communities across the country.
“If enacted, Trump’s proposed budget would result in the most severe cut to HUD since President Reagan dramatically reduced funding in the early 1980s,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Reagan’s deep spending cuts ushered in a new age of homelessness with a dramatic increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets, in cars, and in shelters. Years after those shortsighted and devastating cuts, a major infusion of resources was needed for homeless shelters and services. President Trump seems eager to follow in Mr. Reagan's footsteps, repeating his mistakes and working to make America homeless again.
“More than 200,000 seniors, families, and people with disabilities will be at immediate risk of evictions and homelessness, and local communities will be starved of the funding they need to build and repair affordable homes and revitalize distressed communities,” continued Yentel.
The proposal would also cut additional housing and community development funds from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Treasury, pointed out the National Housing Conference (NHC). The budget blueprint also eliminates funding for the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund grants.
“President Trump’s budget for HUD would severely limit the ability of state and local governments to meet their communities’ housing and infrastructure needs,” said Chris Estes, president and CEO of NHC, a nonpartisan affordable housing advocacy organization. “The president’s proposed budget sacrifices the security of older adults and people with disabilities, and will actually make it harder for President Trump to bring opportunity to urban and rural America as promised.”
HUD said a more detailed program-by-program budget proposal will be announced in May. Congress will also draft its budget plans.