Law and Policy Fellow
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson promised that no one would “get thrown out on the street” under the President’s 2018 budget, but that’s exactly what would happen. Cuts to vital programs like Housing Choice Vouchers and homeless assistance grants would leave more vulnerable people without a safe place to live, including children, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. The cuts — both in HUD and in other federal agencies — would hit programs that address homelessness and relieve some of the most severe hardships faced by people experiencing and at risk of homelessness, such as hunger and preventable illness.
The President’s budget would:
In addition, the President’s budget would eliminate payments that help voucher recipients afford electricity, heat, and other utilities. Even for families with vouchers, an inability to pay for utilities can lead to evictions and homelessness. Nearly all families who stand to lose utility support have incomes below half of the poverty line, including over 800,000 children.
Despite the President’s assertion that he intends to “serve the forgotten men and women of our country,” his budget would make life for those experiencing homelessness even harsher, reduce their chances of moving into housing, and increase the risk that other families will lose their housing and fall into homelessness.