NLIHC and the Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) United coalition each released reports this week on the impact of sequestration. Sequestration refers to the across-the-board budget cuts to federal programs that are subject to annual appropriations (also known as discretionary funding) that took effect on March 1, 2013 in accordance with the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011. Sequestration cut nearly all HUD-administered programs by 5%.
In the eight months since sequestration was implemented, media outlets have reported on how sequestration has effected low income households. NLIHC collected and analyzed 314 articles published between February 25 and September 30, 2013 that cover the local impact of sequestration of housing programs that serve the lowest income households. The analysis was released on November 18 and is entitled “Using the Media to Track the Effects of Sequestration on Low Income Housing Programs.” NLIHC was assisted in the compilation of articles by the Coalition on Human Needs, the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
Based on the media coverage reviewed by NLIHC, sequestration cuts to HUD programs have exacerbated the gap between affordable housing need and federal housing resources. Cutting HUD funding has created increased financial burdens for current residents of affordable housing, those who can least afford to bear the brunt of federal budget cuts.
The compilation of articles is available in three formats: by state of media report, by date of media report, and by impact type as categorized by NLIHC. The report will be updated to reflect new problems that emerge in the coming months as they are reported in the media.
On November 13, the Non Defense Discretionary (NDD) United coalition released “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure.” The report bolsters Budget Conference Committee Democrats’ calls to undo sequestration by highlighting the impact sequestration has already had on programs that serve the most vulnerable Americans, including housing programs.
The report’s authors note, “These 2013 cuts will have serious repercussions for years to come if they are not reversed quickly. Fewer housing vouchers used in 2013 may result in permanent loss of units; deferral of public housing repairs may result in shuttering of units. Delaying development projects may dissuade private investors from partnering with the government and results in fewer new housing units.” The NDD United coalition has asked for the Conference Committee to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. NLIHC is on the NDD steering committee and a sponsor of the report.