Trump administration proposes dramatic cuts to public housing—again

It’s the fourth time the Trump administration has taken aim at
housing subsidies

The Trump administration released its budget proposal today for
fiscal year 2020, and like its previous budget requests for 2017,
2018, and 2019, the administration is proposing steep cuts to both
the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the
Department of Transportation (DoT).

For HUD, the budget requests $44.1 billion in discretionary
funding, a 16.4 percent decrease from 2019 funding levels. For DoT,
the budget requests $21.4 billion in discretionary spending, a 22
percent decrease from 2019 funding levels.

With control of Congress now split between the two parties,
Trump’s budget is likely dead on arrival, but the drastic
proposed cuts would put advocates for government-funding housing
assistance on the defensive, instead of fighting for increases that
some believe are badly needed.

“With this budget request, President Trump and [HUD] Secretary
[Ben] Carson are making clear in no uncertain terms their
willingness to increase evictions and homelessness—for the
vulnerable seniors, people with disabilities and families with kids
who will be unable to manage having to spend more of their very
limited incomes to cover rent hikes,” said Diane Yentel,
president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in a
statement. “This is a cruel and unconscionable budget proposal,
and it should be soundly rejected by Congress.”

The 2020 budget fight is getting underway on the heels of the

longest government shutdown
in U.S. history, during which
President Trump refused to sign the budget Congress passed because
it didn’t include $5 billion for a
wall along the southern border

Trump ultimately signed the budget but declared a national
emergency in order to bypass Congress to obtain the funds. The
emergency declaration was met with immediate legal resistance, and
Trump’s 2020 budget increases the request for a wall to $8.6

Public housing is once again slated for huge cuts
in the budget
request, which entirely eliminates the Public Housing Capital Fund,
used to maintain and improve public housing buildings. It also
makes a 38 percent cut to the Public Housing Operating Fund, which
is used to fund the basic operations of public housing.

The budget also completely eliminates many popular federal block
grant programs that virtually every local municipality depends on
for community development funds, including the Community
Development Block Grant program, HOME Investment Partnerships, the
Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Self-Help Homeownership
Opportunity program.

On the transportation front,
the budget puts $1 billion into BUILD grants,
an Obama-era
program under a new name that the Trump administration has directed
toward rural areas. It also funds another grant program, INFRA, to
the tune of $2 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, the
two grant programs are used to incentivize local governments to
raise revenue for their own infrastructure projects.

Source: FS – All – Architecture 10
Trump administration proposes dramatic cuts to public housing—again