A copy of President Trump’s 2018 budget for HUD was leaked on May 19. The leaked budget would slash funding for affordable housing programs that millions of low income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and low wage workers depend on. In a press statement, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel called the budget proposal “unconscionable and unacceptable.”
NLIHC is not sure about the finality of the leaked budget, as the official budget is scheduled to be released tomorrow, May 23, but the budget aligns with Mr. Trump’s “skinny budget” released in March. Office of Management of Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney will testify on the White House’s budget request before the House Budget Committee on May 24 at 9:30 am ET and before the Senate Budget Committee on May 25 at 9:45 am ET.
Mr. Trump’s budget would harm thousands of the lowest income families by taking away their housing assistance – leading to higher levels of homelessness and housing poverty – to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and billions of dollars in increased defense spending. The proposed budget contradicts HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s assurances that “nobody’s going to be thrown out on the street,” as he defended the proposal.
The administration would slash federal investments in affordable housing at HUD by nearly 17%, or $7.7 billion, compared to FY17. The proposed cuts could mean more than 250,000 people could lose their housing vouchers. It would also impose punitive measures that would jeopardize family stability – increasing the financial burdens they face through higher rents and ending support to help cover the cost of basic utilities, like water and heat.
Mr. Trump’s budget calls for eliminating the national Housing Trust Fund, the first new housing resource in a generation and one that is exclusively targeted to help build and preserve housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes, including those experiencing homelessness. The budget devastates resources needed to operate and maintain public housing that provides homes to millions of families and represents billions of dollars in critical local assets. It would starve states and communities – including Native American communities that suffer from the worst housing conditions in America – of the flexible, locally-driven resources used to address their most pressing housing and community development needs. It cuts funding needed to keep low-income seniors, people with disabilities, people living with AIDS, and vulnerable individuals in safe, affordable homes, reduces funding to address serious health risks posed by lead-based paint, and even cuts resources used to address homelessness.
The proposed budget would also:
- Eliminate the Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships, Choice Neighborhoods, Section 4 Capacity Building, and Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Programs at HUD.
- Eliminate funding for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks America), and the Legal Services Corporation (Legal Aid), which is often the only resource available to help deeply low income people avoid unwarranted evictions.
Based on Mr. Trump’s previously released skinny budget, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which includes Rural Development and the Rural Housing Services, would see its funding cut by 21% compared to FY16 levels.
In addition, Mr. Trump’s budget would:
- Eliminate water and waste loans and grants and cut staffing for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Eliminate funding to the Treasury Department for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund grants.
- Eliminate the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Block Grants (CSBG) at the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Eliminate the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) at the Department of Energy.
If enacted, Mr. Trump’s budget would exacerbate the growing affordable rental housing crisis in every state and community across the nation, and it would represent a clear departure from the belief that everyone deserves an affordable place to call home. In addition, NLIHC estimates that the proposed budget cuts to HUD alone would lead to 123,786 fewer jobs supported through HUD investments throughout the country.
The administration is also expected to propose $800 billion in cuts to means-tested entitlement programs, including Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and food stamps.
Mr. Trump’s budget must be rejected by Congress. NLIHC will work with allies in Congress and with residents, partners, stakeholders, and advocates across the country to ensure not only that this budget proposal is dead on arrival, but that Congress lifts the low spending caps required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 equally for defense and domestic programs and expands funding for critical affordable housing investments.
Advocates are urged to contact your members of Congress today to oppose Mr. Trump's budget proposal.
See NLIHC’s updated budget chart of HUD programs at: http://bit.ly/1SowzjU
See Diane Yentel’s press statement about the administration’s HUD budget at: http://bit.ly/2rmJC2n
Learn more about the House Budget Committee hearing at: http://bit.ly/2q0Wkz7
Learn more about the Senate Budget Committee hearing at: http://bit.ly/2qWIIKg