top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: California | East Bay | U.S. | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Trump’s proposed budget cuts to HUD by the numbers in California
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Sunday Mar 12th, 2017 1:00 AM
Based on the documents from the Senate Appropriations Committee, this is an updated impact of some of the proposed cuts to HUD. Below are some of the numbers in regards to how California will be affected if Trump’s proposed $6 billion in budget cuts to HUD are enacted. This information may change if the budget cutting numbers are not final, regardless these numbers should assist tenant and housing activists in opposing the proposed budget cuts to HUD, by the Trump regime.
Trump’s proposed budget cuts to HUD by the numbers in California

By Lynda Carson - March 12, 2017

Oakland - In the Bay Area according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) has 13,422 federally subsidized housing units in it’s section 8 inventory, and 2,122 units in it’s low rent inventory, formerly known as public housing units.

According to public documents, community wide there are 3,500 people on the wait-list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly called section 8 voucher program) in Oakland, and 3,000 people are on the wait-list for public housing. Both wait-lists are presently closed. In project-based voucher apartments managed by the OHA, there are 6,000 people in the wait-list which is also presently closed. In public housing apartments managed by a third party in Oakland there are 4,477 people on the wait-list, and the wait-list is open. And in project-based voucher apartments managed by a third party in Oakland, there are 28,325 people on the wait-list which is also open.

At the various housing sites in Oakland being subsidized by HUD’s housing programs they are vibrant communities that include working class low-income families with children, the elderly, blind, chronically ill, disabled, and veterans. The Republicans who want to cut the budgets for HUD’s subsidized housing programs claim that these communities are nothing more than generations of poor people being warehoused, which is far from the truth.

HUD’s subsidized housing programs are being placed at risk of having $6 billion or more in budget cuts, because President Donald J. Trump wants to cut $54 billion from our nation’s non-defense federal programs so the money can be shifted to wasteful military programs, and security.

Subsidized Housing Projects Are Vibrant Communities

These much needed housing programs being placed at risk allow people to live with respect and dignity in well maintained apartments at an affordable rate. At one 21 unit residential building in East Oakland that is subsidized by HUD through the Home Program and the OHA, a beautiful woman named Nina Austin who used to be homeless resided there peacefully until she passed away from lung cancer in recent years. Gwendolyn Penney also lived in the same building and had a good life until she passed away, and was found by her caregiver one day. Rose Brown who used to live in Hawaii, passed away from throat cancer and resided in the same building. She had many family members coming by to see her before the cancer eventually took her life from her. Greg Laney used to reside in the same building until his death in January of 2008, in addition to another woman in the building who tragically passed away from a heart attack last summer. These were all beautiful people who lived together in the same building as friends and neighbors. As neighbors they used to get together for a holiday party in the community room of the building once a year for some food, and music. Each of them had a full life with friends and family. They did what they can to contribute to the local community until they passed away. If not for HUD’s subsidized housing programs, these wonderful people may have been homeless without a roof over their head when they passed away, during their time of need.

HUD reportedly is facing more than $6 billion in budget cuts, cutting the budget by 14 percent in fiscal year 2018, according to the Washington Post.

According to the Washington Post, the Trump regime proposes the following budget cuts to HUD.

• Elimination of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program
$3 billion in FY 2016 to $0 in FY 2018

• Elimination of the HOME program
$950 million in FY 2016 to $0 in FY 2018

• Elimination of the Choice Neighborhoods program
$125 million in FY 2016 to $0 in FY 2018

• $600 million cut to Public Housing Operating Fund
$4.5 billion in FY 2016 to $3.9 billion in FY 2018

• $1.3 billion cut to Public Housing Capital Fund
$1.9 billion in FY 2016 to $600 million in FY 2018

• $150 million cut to Native American Housing Block Grants
$650 million in FY 2016 to $500 million in FY 2018

• $42 million cut to Housing for the Elderly
$432.7 million in FY 2016 to $390.7 million in FY 2018

• $29 million cut to Housing for Persons with Disabilities
$150.6 million in FY 2016 to $121.6 in FY 2018

• $300 million cut to Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
$19.6 billion in FY 2016 to $19.3 billion in FY 2018

The Impact On California If Trump's Budget Cuts Are Enacted

The Senate Appropriations Committee has shared some documents that include some of their latest figures on what the budget cuts outlined in the Washington Post article may mean for a few specific HUD programs facing budget cuts under the Trump regime.

Based on the documents from the Senate Appropriations Committee, this is an updated impact of some of the proposed cuts to HUD. Below are some of the numbers in regards to how California will be affected if Trump’s proposed $6 billion in budget cuts to HUD are enacted. This information may change if the budget cutting numbers are not final. Regardless these numbers should assist tenant and housing activists in opposing the proposed budget cuts to HUD, by the Trump regime.

According to the Washington Post, “Around $1.3 billion would be cut from HUD’s public housing capital fund, under the preliminary plan — when compared to funding in 2016 — and an additional $600 million would be cut from the public housing operating fund.

If Trump’s budget cuts to the public housing capital fund are enacted in 2018, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee this means that Public Housing Authorities in California will lose $21,241,360, from the public housing capital fund. If additional proposed budget cuts are enacted, subsidized housing for Native American Tribes in California would be cut by $11,070,656, and if proposed cuts to the Community Development Block Grant Program and the Home Program are enacted in 2018, it would mean that California will lose $486,308,078 in funding. Additional cuts to the Choice Neighborhoods Program, means that California will lose an additional $1,600,000 in funding. Additionally, Section 811 housing for people with disabilities would be cut down to $12,213,137 in 2018, from $15,077,947 during 2016 in California, if Trump’s proposed budget cuts are enacted.

On March 9th, in response to reports that the Trump Administration’s preliminary budget plans for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would cut more than $6 billion from its budget, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, made the following statement:

“Every day, the Trump Administration reveals with their actions that they are willing to abandon and betray hardworking Americans and vulnerable families. This shameful plan would slash funding that fights poverty, revitalizes neighborhoods, helps the homeless, and makes housing more affordable, safe, decent and accessible for low-income Americans, veterans, and persons with disabilities. This proposal would destroy families, neighborhoods, and whole communities.” 

“If Donald Trump really cared about struggling Americans, he would be increasing funding to these critical programs, not planning brutal cuts. Make no mistake, this plan would result in more people living on the streets.”

Elected officials stand united against the attack on the Community Development Block Grant Program. Oakland has been receiving around $1.5 million per year in recent years from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) that is shared throughout the city by 7 districts. Now that the CDBG program is being targeted for elimination by the Trump regime, it will result in a great hardship for many residents in Oakland. Funds from CDBG in part are used to buy food for low-income seniors and the funding is used for other vital programs assisting low-income residents throughout Oakland.

According to the Alameda County website, HUD’s CDBG funding is used for: “Sidewalk curb cuts for handicap accessibility or the creation of new sidewalks in an area where none previously existed; Community, Senior, and Youth Centers; Food Banks and Meals on Wheels type programs; Homeless shelter improvements; Code Compliance in substandard housing; Single Family Home Rehabilitation programs, including Minor Home Repair and Emergency grants for small repairs; Park and facility improvements; New sidewalks, street trees and traffic calming; Public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes; Energy efficiency improvements to housing and public facilities; Childcare training and construction of new childcare facilities.”

According to Trulia: “A potential change to the federal government’s role in the housing market – specifically a 14% cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development budget — could worsen housing shortages in major markets and dampen economic growth.

HUD administers programs that support the provision of affordable housing choice (Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811 Programs), facilitates growth of jobs and public services (Community Development Block Grant Program) and encourages redevelopment (Brownfields Economic Development Initiative) in communities where they’re needed most.

The budget cuts to these vital programs that the Trump administration is considering could undermine the housing market recovery in communities where affordable housing, economic opportunity, public services and community development is undersupplied by the private sector. Moreover, these budget cuts could put nearly 8 million Americans in both inner-city and suburban communities at risk of losing their public housing and nearly 4 million at risk of losing their rental subsidy.”

In a March 9, message from Diane Yentel of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition: “President Donald Trump is expected to send to Congress a high-level budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 next week. An overview of early drafts by the Washington Post show the severity of cuts under consideration. Multiple sources confirm that OMB Director Mick Mulvaney could slash the HUD budget by as much as 14% ($6 billion)—without considering inflationary adjustments. There is a national shortage of 7.4 million homes affordable and available to the lowest income people in this country. Today, just one in four low income people in need of assistance, including seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and veterans, get the help that they need. In light these considerations, these suggested cuts are unconscionable and unacceptable. These draconian cuts could cause homelessness.

The proposed cuts would devastate critical programs that keep roofs over the heads of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. They are in direct contrast to Mr. Trump’s promises to revitalize distressed communities and ensure that “nobody’s going to be dying on the street” from homelessness.
 
Mr. Trump’s proposed budget would slash resources to repair and rehabilitate public housing developments by two-thirds. Even before these dramatic cuts, we lose an estimated 10,000 public housing apartments each year due to chronic underfunding; the capital needs backlog is close to $40 billion and grows at a rate of $3.4 billion per year. Such deep cuts would allow properties in which billions of dollars have been invested over decades to fall further into disrepair. Communities would lose a long-standing asset that has provided millions of people a place to call home and that—with the proper investment—can continue to do so for generations to come.

The proposed cuts to Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance could result in more than 200,000 families losing that critical support. Many would be forced to pay even more of their limited incomes on rent, having insufficient resources left for food, healthcare, transportation and other basic needs. Others would be unable to cover the increased cost of their rents and would face the destabilizing impact of eviction, which has especially damaging effects on children and their ability to succeed in school. In the worst cases, these families will become homeless, reversing the gains made in recent years to reduce homelessness in America.

Mr. Trump further proposes cutting resources that provide thousands more affordable homes for the lowest income seniors or people with disabilities. This would put residents at an especially high risk of eviction and homelessness, make it difficult for landlords to make their monthly mortgage payments, and erode the public-private partnerships that make these rental homes possible.

While Native Americans have some of the worst housing needs in the U.S.—suffering from extreme levels of poverty and substandard housing—Mr. Trump’s proposed budget would cut resources targeted to these communities by nearly a quarter.

And by eliminating block grant resources for community development and housing production, the Trump budget would undermine the ability for states and communities to address their most pressing needs.

Federal investments in affordable housing have already been cut significantly in recent years because of the low spending caps required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Funding to HUD was already $3.4 billion—or 8.4%—lower in 2016 than in 2010, adjusted for inflation. The same programs that would suffer dramatic cuts in Mr. Trump’s budget are those that have been hardest hit in recent years—public housing, community development and housing block grants, and housing for the elderly and people with disabilities.

This is the wrong approach. Mr. Trump and Congress should be increasing investments in affordable homes—not dramatically cutting resources. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) recently released report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, the U.S. has a shortage of 7.4 million affordable rental homes available to the nation’s 11.4 million extremely low income households. This means that for every 100 extremely low income households, there are just 35 rental homes affordable and available to them. As a result, 71% pay more than half of their income on rent and utilities. Despite the growing housing affordability crisis, just one in four households eligible for housing assistance receive the help they need.”

Reportedly, HUD’s budget may be slashed by 14 percent, around $6 billion in budget cuts, or more. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP): “If a 15 percent cut were applied evenly across HUD programs in 2018, 625,000 households would lose the vouchers or other “Section 8” assistance that helps them to live in private apartments at an affordable rent, and as many as 200,000 other households could lose public housing or other rental assistance.  (These estimates reflect expected increases in rental costs next year.)  The vast majority of these cuts would fall on seniors, people with disabilities, or families with children, putting many at risk of eviction and even homelessness.”

In response to the news that the Trump regime wants to cut HUD’s budget by $6 billion or more, the new Secretary of HUD Ben Carson gave a lame reply that did little to calm the fears of millions of HUD’s subsidized renters: “Today you may have read preliminary HUD FY18 budget negotiations in national media reports. Please understand that budget negotiations currently underway are very similar to those that have occurred in previous years. This budget process is a lengthy, back and forth process that will continue. It’s unfortunate that preliminary numbers were published but, please take some comfort in knowing that starting numbers are rarely final numbers. Rest assured, we are working hard to support those programs that help so many Americans, focus on our core mission, and ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely and effectively.”

As reported in Poor Magazine and Indybay, tenant activists are presently urging low-income renters in HUD’s subsidized housing programs to contact their representatives to speak up in support of HUD’s subsidized housing programs. In addition to the $54 billion in budget cuts that Trump wants, additional massive budget cuts to the federal government are being proposed ranging from $6 trillion to $8.6 trillion, and to as much as over $10 trillion during the next ten years.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson may be reached at (202) 708-0417.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com