Brown Slams Trump Budget Cuts to Housing Aid for Low-Income Urban, Rural Communities

Brown Led a Group of Senators in Voicing Concern Over Potential Cuts in March Letter to HUD Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs – today blasted President Trump’s plan to slash the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by more than $6 billion and eliminate programs vital to maintaining the nation’s affordable housing supply.

The President’s budget calls for cutting $1.3 billion – nearly 70 percent – in the public housing repair budget, which would leave more children, families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities exposed to mold, lead, and other health hazards. In addition, the budget would cut funding for public transit programs.

“The Trump Administration’s plan to eviscerate essential funding for housing, transit, and community development is a complete contradiction of the President’s repeated promises to rebuild America’s infrastructure and cities,” said Brown. “Cuts of this scale are shortsighted, dangerous, and immoral, especially when more than 11 million families now pay over half their income toward rent, and half a million Americans are homeless. The President’s budget will put more Ohio children, families, and seniors at risk of losing their homes, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it never becomes law.”

Trump’s fiscal 2018 blueprint would cut funding for individual HUD programs by about $7 billion compared with fiscal 2017 funding. The budget also would eliminate funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, which supports a broad range of community investments, affordable housing, and rural water infrastructure in cities and towns of all sizes across Ohio. The state received $137.5 million in funding for community development grants in fiscal 2016 alone.

The President’s budget also eliminates the HOME Investment Partnerships program, which helps communities create and maintain affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities for families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and homeless veterans.

The proposal also would eliminate the Choice Neighborhoods program, a neighborhood revitalization program aimed at low-income areas. In fiscal 2016, communities across Ohio received $38.9 million in HOME funds and $1.5 million in Choice Neighborhoods grants. Poindexter Village, one of the Columbus communities HUD Secretary Ben Carson visited during his “listening tour” last month, was awarded a 7-year, $29.7 million implementation grant in 2014 through the Choice Neighborhoods program.

In March, Brown led a group of Banking Committee Democrats in questioning HUD Secretary Ben Carson on the Trump Administration’s plan to slash HUD’s funding. The Senators stressed that cuts of this size would be devastating for children and families nationwide, and would be contrary to Carson’s testimony to the Banking Committee during his Jan. 12 confirmation hearing. Carson has not yet responded to the Senators’ inquiry.

Within the Federal Transit Administration, Trump proposed eliminating all future projects in the Capital Investment Grant program, which assists communities across the nation with building and expanding rail and bus networks. The budget provides funding only for a small number of projects currently under construction, eventually eliminating the $2.4 billion now allocated annually to expand transit services.

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