The Trump administration is considering a plan that would cut more than $6 billion in funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Under the new measures, HUD’s budget would be reduced by around 14 percent to $40.5 billion in the 2018 fiscal year, the Washington Post reported, citing preliminary budget documents it obtained. The proposal, if it goes ahead, would end most federally funded community development grants and shrink public housing support.
Around $1.3 billion would be taken from the public housing capital fund, and an additional $600 million would be withdrawn from the public housing operating fund. Despite the cuts, the preliminary budget proposes keeping the same level of funding to rental assistance programs, according to the newspaper. The cuts, however, target funding for building maintenance and community development projects, although HUD makes recommendations that those projects still receive funding, but from another source.
HUD spokesperson Jereon Brown told the newspaper the budget document “is still a work in process.” It’s not yet clear if the potential cuts will be part of the president’s final budget proposal. A complete budget plan will be released next week, according to the administration.
Last week, the Senate voted to confirm Ben Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon, as secretary of HUD.
Carson has no housing experience and a long track record of criticizing government assistance programs, but some housing groups have focused on Carson’s positive comments on public housing, such as his praise for the low-income housing tax credit program (LIHTC).
[WashPo] — Miriam Hall