Addressing the National Low Income Housing Coalition conference on April 3, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said that the Trump Administration will seek to include housing funding in an infrastructure spending bill. “This administration considers housing a significant part of infrastructure in our country,” said Sec. Carson, “and as such, the infrastructure bill that is being worked on has a significant inclusion of housing in it.” Sec. Carson’s comments come after the White House recently proposed extreme cuts to HUD’s budget, raising questions about whether the administration plans to offset the proposed cuts to HUD with funds for housing in a potential infrastructure package. While the White House has not yet detailed what may be included in a possible infrastructure package, it is unlikely that a short-term increase in funding would sufficiently make up for the potentially long-term proposed cuts to HUD programs.
In a recent blog post, Marion McFadden, vice president for public policy at Enterprise, writes that Congress must reject these proposed budget cuts to HUD’s programs since they would damage or eliminate vital domestic programs that address local needs. Meanwhile, Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure investment campaign promise is running into roadblocks among both Republicans and Democrats: Democrats are wary that the infrastructure package will focus more on tax breaks and deregulation without providing increased funding for their infrastructure priorities, while it is proving difficult to build support for a massive spending package among many fiscally-conservative Republicans.