WASHINGTON— The FY 2018 budget proposal released today by the Trump administration would drastically cut the housing help that rebuilds communities, spurs economic development and protects millions of Americans. The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to housing work supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture and several independent agencies would take policy in the wrong direction at a time when housing costs are an increasing burden to working families.
“We’re not talking about marginal cuts here,” observed Chris Estes, President and CEO of the National Housing Conference. “The budget proposes complete elimination of federal help that communities big and small rely on. Homeownership investments, rental vouchers, community development investments in rural towns and urban neighborhoods—this budget would be catastrophic for all of these investments.”
Housing is far from an entitlement: Only one in four of the people eligible for help actually receive it, because resources are so limited. Meanwhile, homeownership is unaffordable at the median household income in 92 metro areas, and typical rents are unaffordable to median-income households in 13 metro areas. The $7.4 billion cut proposed to HUD alone, not to mention cuts in other areas of housing funding, would further widen the gap between housing need and the help available to families. “This will be a huge blow to local and state economies nationwide as communities struggle with housing costs for their workforce and most vulnerable residents,” said Estes.
The dramatic cuts proposed for next year’s federal spending also put past investments at risk. Public housing has long received less funding than needed to maintain existing properties, many of which have provided essential housing for decades. Privately owned housing is at risk, too, if the federal government fails to fully fund the rental assistance contracts those properties rely upon. Block grants like HOME Investment Partnerships and Community Development Block Grants are often key sources in preserving affordable housing as long-term community assets, complementing investments through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
“These cuts are short-sighted and end up costing government and the economy more than they save,” Estes continued. “Instead, we need the federal government to invest in the good-quality, stable homes that make people healthier, help kids succeed in school and keep a strong workforce in the community.”
NHC will work with lawmakers in both parties to craft a forward-looking housing budget that invests in the future of America’s families and neighborhoods, so that everyone in America can afford a quality home in a thriving community.
About NHC: Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. The National Housing Conference educates decision makers and the public about housing policies and practices to move housing forward together. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership and the broader housing and community development sectors to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Founded in 1931, we are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. NHC’s research team operated as the Center for Housing Policy until the organizations merged in 2013.
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