The Trump administration has released some details regarding its planned budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, totaling about $6.2 billion in cuts, or a 15% reduction to the existing budget. This would be the largest cuts in housing aid since the Reagan administration.
CityLab writer Kriston Capps says that the budget cuts could lead to a drastic increase in homelessness for at risk Americans. He writes:
Trump’s budget would eliminate several core categories of housing assistance at HUD. Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships, the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, and several other aid programs at HUD would be nixed. As a result, more than 200,000 families, seniors, and people with disabilities who benefit from housing assistance will be at immediate risk of homelessness, according to Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “This budget proposal must not and will not stand,” she says.
The budget cuts would affect a broad array of American workers and families. Trump’s budget would eliminate the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which former HUD Secretary Julián Castro described as “vital” to reducing homelessness among veterans. Under the Obama administration, veteran homelessness plunged by 47 percent, thanks in part to work by the Interagency Council.
Affordable housing advocates have already fired off the first round of promises to fight the proposed budget, stressing its potential impact on other federal expenses. “Living in an affordable, healthy home directly affects the ability of children to succeed in school and the health of older adults and people with disabilities,” said Chris Estes, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, in a memo. “Access to quality stable homes is a key component of reducing health care costs, especially in Medicare and Medicaid.”