The Trump Administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request on May 23, proposing severe cuts to housing and community development programs at HUD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Treasury Department. The budget request seeks to increase defense spending, which would be offset by steep cuts to non-defense discretionary programs – not just in housing but also to critical anti-poverty programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
At HUD, the budget proposes eliminating funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, HOME Investment Partnerships program, Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and the Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development program. The budget would also reduce funding for Housing Choice Vouchers by $974 million below FY 2017 levels, Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) by $465 million, the Public Housing Capital Fund by $1.3 billion and the Public Housing Operating Fund by $500 million. Additionally, funding would be nearly eliminated for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at Treasury and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks).
While the budget does propose lifting the cap on the number of public housing units that can participate in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), the ability to successfully convert public housing onto more stable financial footing through RAD requires fully funding Section 8 vouchers and public housing, both of which the budget proposes to cut. The budget also proposes increasing tenant rent contributions for public housing up from 30 percent to 35 percent, instituting mandatory minimum rents and eliminating utility reimbursements.
Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and Enterprise President and CEO Terri Ludwig recently wrote in the Washington Post that the proposed cuts to HUD programs “could result in 580,000 fewer affordable homes created and more than 350,000 jobs lost over the next five years,” which would have grave consequences for communities across the country. The New York Times Editorial Board also argues that the proposed cuts to HUD’s budget would be devastating for low-income communities and households. See Enterprise’s budget chart, and learn more about the impact that the President’s budget will have on affordable housing on Enterprise’s blog.