Thanks to everyone who attended our 2nd Annual Affordable Housing Day at the State Capitol! In addition to meeting with legislators, the Coalition was recognized from the floor by both the Senate and the House. We had a large contingency of Coalition members representing affordable housing in Oklahoma. We also received a Proclamation from Governor Fallin declaring March 7th as Affordable Housing.
Many of you may have seen the leaked budget documents referencing a potential $6 billion cut to HUD. Such a cut could be devastating to housing and community development efforts, which could include things like elimination of HOME and CDBG, deep cuts to public housing and rental assistance, and near elimination of now-smaller programs like housing for the elderly and people with disabilities.
The leaked documents are not a formal statement from the administration, so we will not know for sure until President Trump’s budget proposal is release. This is also a negotiating process between the White House and Congress on top-line budget numbers and program priorities. Major budget changes like these will require deal making both within and between the two political parties and the House and Senate.
All signals thus far, however, suggest President Trump’s budget will propose major cuts to non-defense domestic spending, including housing. We don’t know if this year may be similar to past years in that Congress will set the budget timeline and decide funding levels with little reference to the president’s proposal or if Congressional leaders give the president more deference in his first proposed budget. We do know that the baseline spending levels Congress is starting with under the sequester and the Budget Control Act also require cuts to spending.
Prepare for ongoing, coordinated advocacy for housing and community development. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It is most important to advocate for housing and community development funding overall, rather than defending particular programs in isolation.