President Trump released his first budget proposal for FY 2018.
On May 23rd, President Trump released his first budget proposal for FY 2018, which begins October 1, 2017. While it provides more detail than the “skinny budget” short-form budget released in March, it slashes domestic spending dramatically and HUD programs are specifically under attack. Whole block grant programs (which are critical to the production of supportive housing), including Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships are eliminated, along with the Interagency Council on Homelessness. It also strips funding from the National Housing Trust Fund, funding specifically targeted to building affordable housing to the nation’s poorest households. The Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) receives no new vouchers in the president’s budget proposal.
Existing rental assistance programs are impacted. Tenant and Project Based rental assistance is cut by 5%. More than 250,000 households will lose housing assistance that protects them from eviction, at least 25,000 in New York State alone. Even the popular and effective McKinney-Vento homeless assistance grant program faces a 5% cut, which would shutter existing supportive housing programs next year.
Beyond HUD cuts, this budget proposal does not spare even safety net programs. Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Program and even Social Security Disability face cuts. Fortunately, it is up to Congress to produce a budget, and many members of Congress have already declared this budget dead on arrival. Still, your representatives need to hear from you. Please follow the links below from the National Low Income Housing Coalition to weigh in.
Take action now:
Call your members of Congress and urge them to protect critical resources for affordable housing. Here is a script for you to use:
Please reject the president's proposed budget that slashes HUD investments that provide millions of Americans with affordable homes. These resources keep roofs over the heads of low income families, seniors, people with disabilities, low-wage workers and other vulnerable people. We need a budget that fights homelessness, not one that increases it. Funding affordable housing is a smart investment that leads to better health and education outcomes and boosts economic mobility and the local economy. Our communities are stronger because of HUD programs. Instead of making harmful cuts, I urge you to work with your colleagues to lift the spending caps on critical domestic programs like those at HUD.
To read about the finalized FY 17 HUD budget, click here.