The Trump administration will slash more than $6 billion in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and eliminate community development grants, according to a budget outline obtained by The Washington Post.
The Office of Management and Budget’s “blueprint” for 2018 puts HUD’s funding at $40.7 billion, down from $46.9 billion in 2017, representing a cut of 13.2 percent. The funding levels detailed in the OMB’s blueprint closely match preliminary numbers The Post first reported last week.
Throughout the OMB budget outline, the administration emphasizes its belief that local governments should be the ones primarily responsible for urban-development programs.
“State and local governments are better positioned to serve their communities based on local needs and priorities,” the budget document says.
The budget proposal would eliminate funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, which supports a wide range of urban-renewal projects and received $3 billion in funding for 2017. The decades-old grant program has been used to fund such projects as the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans and to support Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
Also recommended for elimination are the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Choice Neighborhoods program and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program. Cutting those programs — which help redevelop low-income neighborhoods and encourage homeownership — will shave an additional $1.1 billion from HUD.
Experts and advocates have said the overall reduction in HUD’s budget will put tremendous strain on the nation’s housing authorities, which manage public housing and rely heavily on federal funding.
A more detailed budget document that The Post obtained last week showed significant cuts to maintenance funds, which would probably exacerbate a backlog of repair work nationwide.
Although the administration appears to have maintained funding levels for subsidized-housing programs, local housing authorities might be forced to scale back the number of housing vouchers because of inflation and rising housing costs. That could mean a loss of up to 200,000 subsidized housing vouchers in coming years, according to flat-funding estimates.