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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Urge Congress to Oppose Housing Cuts!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about President Trump’s budget, which cuts the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 13%, or 6.2 billion dollars. This is just a rough draft; there are no line items available yet, which should also show more changes.

The budget blueprint announced the White House’s intention to eliminate the following programs:

  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • HOME Partnership Program
  • Choice Neighborhoods (formerly HOPE VI)
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program
  • Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Program (which funds organizations like Local Initiatives Support Corp.)
  • U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

According to analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the other programs impacted are:

  • Housing Choice Vouchers (a loss of 200,000 vouchers projected)
  • Cuts to Section 202 (Supportive Housing for the Elderly) and Section 811 (Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities)
  • Cuts to public housing funding, meaning that more than $26 billion in repair needs probably won’t happen

Housing has had strong bipartisan support in the past, so it is unlikely that Congress will follow all of the proposed cuts or eliminations. Nonetheless, we still must pressure Congress to not accept ANY of them!

But the real danger is that there is another source of pressure for cuts to housing: The Budget Control Act of 2011. It was begun as an agreement to reduce the budget with automated spending caps applied equally to defense and to domestic programs. In 2018, under the Budget Control Act, $14 billion would be cut (Trump’s budget cuts another $54 billion) compared to 2017. However, some in Congress have been seeking to circumvent this agreement by having higher cuts in domestic programs to fund increased defense spending. This is where the real fight will be happening.

Take Action

Call your Representative and your Senators to ask them to oppose cuts to housing! Ask them to oppose all of President Trump’s proposed program eliminations, to increase funding for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, and to eliminate the public housing backlog on capital needs.

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