The Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will likely propose deep cuts in rental assistance for families, as well as other aid for the nation’s poorest urban and rural communities, a Washington Post report has confirmed.
Our analysis of the Post’s report, which was based on a leaked preliminary Trump Administration budget document, indicates that:
Overall, HUD programs would lose $7.7 billion in 2018, compared to the likely final 2017 funding level, a 16 percent reduction. (HUD’s 2017 budget hasn’t yet been finalized, but it’s reasonable to presume that the final budget will be close to the average of the bills the House Appropriations Committee and the full Senate approved last summer.)
These cuts would come on top of the significant cuts that policymakers have already made in recent years under the austere Budget Control Act spending caps. As of 2016, total HUD housing and community development funding had already fallen $4.6 billion, or 8.7 percent, since 2010 (adjusted for inflation).
These cuts reflect the Administration’s skewed budget priorities. Non-defense discretionary spending, the budget category that funds most housing programs, as well as education, scientific research, environmental protection, and other key programs, is a small share of the federal budget and has already been cut to historically low levels in recent years. To thrive, families and communities need the essential assistance these HUD and other key programs provide. Proposing to slash them is not only cruel — it’s counterproductive.