President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request – released today - proposes to drastically cut housing benefits that help millions of low-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and other vulnerable people afford their homes. Like his other budget requests in FY18 and FY19, the proposal would reduce housing benefits for the lowest-income people by slashing federal investments in affordable homes, increasing rents, and imposing harmful work requirements on America’s struggling families. If enacted, it could leave even more low-income people without stable homes, undermining family stability, increasing evictions, and, in worst cases, leading to more homelessness.
Overall, the administration proposes to cut HUD by an astounding $9.6 billion or 18 percent below 2019 enacted levels, imposing deep cuts to affordable housing and community development, as well as other essential programs that ensure basic living standards.
At a time when the affordable housing crisis has reached new heights and homelessness is increasing in some communities, the president’s proposal would eliminate or deeply cut essential housing and community development programs like the national Housing Trust Fund, the HOME Investments Partnership program, and public housing capital repairs. More details on funding levels are expected next week.
The president would underfund rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program and raise rents - by as much as three times current levels - on America’s poorest families. While the administration suggests this budget would provide an increase in funding to the voucher program, this is misleading; the budget in fact includes cuts to housing assistance.
The budget would also impose punitive measures that would jeopardize family stability, increasing the financial burdens they face through higher rents and harmful work requirements that often push families deeper into poverty. Last year, HUD unveiled legislation to cut housing benefits through rent increases and work requirements. Learn more about President Trump's proposed legislation to cut housing benefits, how cutting housing benefits would increase homelessness and housing poverty, and why this approach has nothing to do with "increasing family self-sufficiency."
With this budget request, President Trump and Secretary Carson are making clear in no uncertain terms their willingness to increase evictions and homelessness - for the vulnerable seniors, people with disabilities and families with kids who will be unable to manage having to spend more of their very limited incomes to cover rent hikes. The administration callously disregards its responsibility to the millions of households living in deteriorating public housing and to low-income people and communities working to recover and rebuild after disasters by eliminating critical resources for public housing, rental housing construction and community development. This is a cruel and unconscionable budget proposal, and it should be soundly rejected by Congress.
About National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC): Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.