Several Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee sent a letter on March 10 to newly confirmed HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson on a report by the Washington Post that the Trump administration is considering a $6.6 billion or 14% cut to HUD programs, compared to FY16 levels.
The letter—signed by Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)—describes the HUD budget under consideration by the Trump administration as “unconscionable” and contrary to testimony made by Dr. Carson under oath during his confirmation hearing. “If this reported budget stands, you will most certainly be presiding over an unprecedented attack on the health of some of our most vulnerable Americans.” the letter states. “It cannot stand and, if you are to remain true to the testimony you gave under oath, it must not.”
As outlined by the Washington Post, the draft HUD budget would cut resources to repair and rehabilitate public housing by two-thirds. The proposed cuts to Housing Choice Voucher program could result in more than 200,000 families losing that critical support. An estimated 10,000 rental homes for seniors and 6,800 rental homes for people with disabilities could be lost, putting residents at an especially high risk of eviction and homelessness. Moreover, the draft HUD budget would eliminate Community Development Block Grants, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, and Choice Neighborhoods grants.
In a statement, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel urged Congress to soundly reject the draft budget. She also called on Dr. Carson to uphold the commitments he made during his confirmation process—including his promise to “house as many families as possible in safe, affordable housing…and look for ways to expand affordable housing options everywhere”—by urging the Trump administration to reverse these harmful cuts before submitting a budget proposal to Congress.
President Trump is expected to unveil his top-line budget proposal, known as a “skinny budget,” this week. Advocates can learn more about Mr. Trump’s budget request and its impact on affordable housing resources on a webinar hosted by NLIHC and other leaders of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) on March 20 at 4pm.
See the Senators’ letter to Dr. Carson at: http://bit.ly/2mgEirH
See NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel’s statement about the draft HUD budget proposal at: http://nlihc.org/press/releases/7588
See the Washington Post report at: http://wapo.st/2mA2SVp
Register for the CHCDF webinar at: http://bit.ly/2nniw5G