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Trump Budget Will Increase Homelessness, End Federal Role in Community Development

March 16, 2017 at 4:15 PM

President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposes deep cuts in every state in rental assistance for families and other aid for the nation’s poorest urban and rural communities, which would increase homelessness and other hardship across the country.

Overall, the President requests $40.7 billion for HUD programs in 2018, $6.2 billion (13 percent) below 2016 funding, and about $7.5 billion (15 percent) below the 2017 levels in the bills that the House and Senate appropriations committees approved last summer. (The President and Congress have yet to finalize a 2017 budget, but the continuing resolution that’s funding the government for this year runs out on April 28.)

The President’s budget eliminates the HOME, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Choice Neighborhoods programs that give flexible aid to poor rural and urban communities. Altogether, poor communities would lose more than $4.1 billion of HUD funds needed to improve basic infrastructure like streets and water and sewer lines, promote economic development, and build or rehabilitate affordable housing for low-income residents. Rather than boost states’ and localities’ ability to help their residents live healthy and productive lives, the budget abandons communities that need federal resources. (See the state-by-state table below for the funding cuts from eliminating HOME and CDBG funds.)

The budget says the federal government will continue to help 4.5 million households pay the rent, but it provides no details on funding for HUD’s rental assistance programs, which helped nearly 4.9 million households in 2016, nearly all of which included seniors, people with disabilities, or children. But preliminary budget documents leaked last week indicate that the President’s proposals in the full budget request expected later this spring will likely include significant rental assistance cuts, including the following:

  • Housing Choice Vouchers that some 200,000 low-income households use to help pay their rent would be eliminated in 2018. According to the preliminary document, housing vouchers would be funded at $19.3 billion, about $300 million below the 2016 level, and about $1.7 billion below the amount that we estimate will be required to renew all vouchers in 2018. Cuts in vouchers would increase and prolong homelessness and other hardships for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.
  • Some 25,000 households headed by seniors and people with disabilities would lose rental assistance due to funding cuts to the Section 202 and 811 housing programs. Additional losses may occur in HUD’s other programs that contract with private owners to provide affordable rents to low-income households.
  • Public housing funding would be slashed by $2 billion, or about 30 percent. Public housing already faces more than $26 billion in repair needs such as fixing leaky roofs or replacing outdated heating systems and electrical wiring. Such massive cuts — coming on top of the 21 percent cut from 2010 to 2016 — would undermine the health and safety of public housing’s 2.2 million residents and sharply accelerate the loss of affordable units. (See the table below for state-by-state estimates of cuts to vouchers and public housing.)

Total HUD program funding in today’s release appears to be slightly higher (about $200 million) than shown in the preliminary documents, and one must be cautious in using the latter to fill in missing details. But given that 85 percent of HUD’s budget goes to rental assistance, and the cost of renewing rental assistance for current families increases every year due to rising rents and other costs, it’s mathematically impossible to implement the Administration’s proposed HUD funding cuts without making deep cuts in rental assistance, as well as eliminating other important HUD programs wholesale.

To sustain critical HUD programs, Congress must reject the Trump vision of austerity for low- and middle-income Americans and tax cuts for the wealthy. HUD program stakeholders need to make sure policymakers understand why they should increase funding in 2018, not slash it.

TABLE 1
Potential Impact of Selected Trump Budget Proposals in 2018, by State
State Vouchers Cut Public Housing Funding Cut CDBG Funding Cut HOME Funding Cut
Alabama  -2,783 -$57,522,695 -$40,510,462 -$12,805,018
Alaska  -454 -$3,651,155 -$4,199,056 -$3,568,935
Arizona  -1,955 -$9,151,525 -$49,576,409 -$15,798,965
Arkansas  -1,869 -$16,372,095 -$23,494,915 -$7,957,142
California  -27,252 -$62,674,450 -$356,855,242 -$129,452,836
Colorado  -2,672 -$12,348,535 -$33,799,265 -$13,199,809
Connecticut  -3,282 -$27,108,400 -$35,627,649 -$10,906,329
Deleware  -413 -$4,546,025 -$6,417,563 -$4,140,401
District of Columbia  -1,029 -$19,430,635 -$13,778,139 -$3,906,911
Florida  -9,025 -$53,776,685 -$132,075,735 -$45,345,600
Georgia  -4,949 -$56,206,315 -$77,013,447 -$25,542,237
Hawaii  -882 -$10,603,325 -$12,205,032 -$5,325,779
Idaho  -599 -$850,340 -$11,599,185 -$4,112,118
Illinois  -8,298 -$112,662,730 -$149,547,787 -$41,124,946
Indiana  -3,191 -$21,235,015 -$60,833,178 -$18,963,083
Iowa  -1,846 -$3,491,945 -$33,225,933 -$8,076,368
Kansas  -1,034 -$9,522,405 -$23,909,769 -$7,678,549
Kentucky  -2,797 -$27,802,275 -$39,217,682 -$13,192,329
Louisiana  -4,252 -$31,242,370 -$43,971,970 -$13,031,724
Maine  -1,071 -$6,290,625 -$16,494,704 -$4,303,357
Maryland  -4,269 -$41,795,675 -$45,051,559 -$12,596,910
Massachusetts  -7,563 -$66,482,375 -$91,588,301 -$24,496,334
Michigan  -4,945 -$32,135,105 -$111,447,354 -$29,024,174
Minnesota  -2,821 -$24,233,165 -$47,941,187 -$13,532,759
Mississippi  -2,289 -$13,099,750 -$26,789,607 -$8,151,443
Missouri  -3,627 -$21,669,945 -$57,263,371 -$17,387,170
Montana  -514 -$2,428,715 -$7,609,786 -$3,824,936
Nebraska  -1,023 -$6,966,810 -$16,524,837 -$5,453,697
Nevada  -1,337 -$6,468,135 -$19,987,856 -$8,931,309
New Hampshire  -872 -$5,048,970 -$11,392,754 -$3,789,439
New Jersey  -6,148 -$69,552,200 -$81,306,178 -$24,516,493
New Mexico  -1,102 -$5,201,165 -$16,494,345 -$5,364,136
New York  -20,293 -$429,984,120 -$288,016,281 -$92,909,944
North Carolina  -5,187 -$53,301,495 -$71,615,290 -$25,974,357
North Dakota  -576 -$1,789,740 -$4,967,535 -$3,379,722
Ohio  -8,213 -$79,316,165 -$137,466,074 -$38,905,750
Oklahoma  -2,116 -$15,826,755 -$24,611,920 -$10,114,390
Oregon  -3,024 -$9,124,685 -$31,670,366 -$13,037,794
Pennsylvania  -7,015 -$125,475,170 -$169,582,362 -$40,648,993
Rhode Island  -846 -$14,790,975 -$15,183,311 -$5,014,769
South Carolina  -2,265 -$21,849,285 -$34,666,265 -$12,117,028
South Dakota  -485 -$1,473,150 -$6,445,895 -$3,380,713
Tennessee  -3,217 -$50,713,875 -$45,556,459 -$17,420,167
Texas  -13,280 -$75,057,450 -$216,584,233 -$64,472,644
Utah  -987 -$1,909,605 -$19,496,384 -$6,521,923
Vermont  -571 -$1,845,250 -$7,143,768 -$3,407,339
Virginia  -4,153 -$31,960,645 -$50,846,097 -$18,353,604
Washington  -4,660 -$22,275,370 -$51,455,458 -$19,052,429
West Virginia  -1,224 -$7,739,375 -$18,687,152 -$5,406,396
Wisconsin  -2,432 -$11,426,825 -$56,738,253 -$18,120,865
Wyoming  -235 -$832,650 -$3,482,431 -$3,527,300
Total -199,970 -$1,923,831,420 -$3,014,354,774 -$964,813,378

Source: CBPP analysis of HUD and Office of Management and Budget data.

Note: CDBG = Community Development Block Grant. Funding cuts are relative to 2016 funding levels; housing voucher cuts are relative to the number of households that would be assisted under the fiscal year 2017 funding bills approved last summer by the House and Senate appropriations committees, but not yet enacted into law. The estimates for vouchers and public housing are based in part on preliminary budget documents, as the documents released on March 16 contained few program-level details. National figures include data from U.S. territories.


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