The Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development both held hearings the week of June 5 to consider the Trump administration’s FY18 budget request for HUD. The president’s budget blueprint, released two weeks after Dr. Carson was confirmed as HUD secretary, proposes a 15% - or $7.4 billion - reduction to HUD’s budget from FY17 enacted levels. The complete budget request, released on May 23, shows how HUD would allocate funding across the agency’s programs.
Senate Subcommittee members from both parties expressed their dismay and disappointment about the steep cuts proposed in the president’s budget. In her opening statement, Senate Subcommittee Chair Susan Collins (R-ME) expressed how the proposed cuts – which are deeper than the budget caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 – lack thoughtful consideration. “The funding levels proposed in this budget will place vulnerable families at risk of losing their assistance and of becoming homeless,” she said.
Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) shared similar concerns that the “drastic cuts will be devastating to communities across the nation.”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, attended the hearing to communicate that “this budget, no matter how you look at it, is going to leave millions of low income Americans and Americans with disabilities out in the cold…. This budget is a travesty.”
Several House Subcommittee members similarly shared their opposition to the proposed cuts. Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) said that the budget’s proposed rent reforms would result in dramatic rent burdens for many low income Americans receiving rental assistance.
Appropriations Chair Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) questioned how HUD would continue to serve the housing needs of people with disabilities with the proposed $25 million cut to its Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811) program.
Responding to members’ questions and concerns, Secretary Carson repeatedly reiterated his hopes that improved efficiency, public-private partnerships, and greater flexibility would help HUD meet its mission with reduced resources. The secretary also spoke of the constraints placed on the agency’s budget by the “new paradigm” of fiscal responsibility, and that the new budget recognizes “a greater role for state and local government” in housing and community development. A number of Republican representatives said they saw opportunity in this effort to provide greater local flexibility through reduced regulation.
The Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees will now begin work on appropriations bills as part of the congressional appropriations process.
Read a statement from Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC, on President Trump’s budget request at: http://bit.ly/2mGyHuP.
Read Ms. Yentel’s Memo article about the proposed budget at: http://bit.ly/2o0viqX.
Review NLIHC’s analysis of President Trump’s budget request at: http://bit.ly/2rwM9ae.
NLIHC’s summary budget chart is available at: http://bit.ly/1SowzjU.
Watch the archived Senate hearing at: http://bit.ly/2qG7pqh.
Watch the archived House hearing at: http://bit.ly/2r24rAS.