Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trump administration releases budget proposing drastic housing cuts

by Rebekah King & Kaitlyn Snyder 

The FY 2018 budget proposal released today by the Trump administration would drastically cut the housing help that rebuilds communities, spurs economic development and protects millions of Americans.  The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to housing work supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture and several independent agencies would take policy in the wrong direction at a time when housing costs are an increasing burden to working families.

The president’s budget proposal would eliminate funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, HOME Investment Partnership, Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, Section 4 Capacity Building, the National Housing Trust Fund (via a legislative proposal) and Choice Neighborhoods, among many other initiatives shown in the chart below. The proposal would also eliminate funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural single family housing direct loan program and the Section 504 homeownership repair program.

The chart below shows HUD and USDA funding for selected programs for the President’s FY 2018 budget request and enacted funding levels going back to FY 2014. Red numbers indicate decreases compared to FY 2017 enacted levels, green numbers indicate increases and black numbers indicate flat funding.

NHC’s full statement on the President’s budget request is available here. Also included in the proposal are provisions that:

  • For Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)  and Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), public housing, Section 202 and Section 811 would:
    • require tenants to contribute 35% of their income towards rent (up from the historic norm of 30%)
    • establish mandatory minimum rents of $50
    • end utility allowance reimbursements, effectively increasing costs to tenants
  • According to the congressional justification, HUD will implement the 35% tenant rent contribution as a pilot in PBRA, 202, and 811 in 2018; it does not plan to implement this in the Public Housing or TBRA programs in 2018.
  • No longer provide higher payments for enhanced vouchers for Section 8 TBRA
  • Eliminate funding for the Capital Magnet Fund and Community Development Financial Institutions Financial Assistance program
  • Eliminate funding for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and provide $570,000 for payroll and severance
  • Eliminate federal funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation and provide $27.4 million to prepare for the discontinuation of federal funding
  • For FY 2018, the HUD Secretary may elect through notice not to provide rent adjustments for Section 202, Section 811, Section 236 or Section 8 PBRA properties. 
  • Eliminates the RAD cap and supports including 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract's in the RAD program
  • Gives the HUD secretary authority to transfer project-based rent assistance under specific circumstances related to housing quality and property inspections
  • Gives the HUD secretary to provide waiver authority for PHAs for statutory or regulatory provisions related to PHA administrative, planning, and reporting requirements, energy audits, income recertification, and program assessments.
  • Creates an administrative support fee, up to 4 basis points, to support modernizing Federal Housing Administration systems
  • Creates flexibility between PHA capital and operating funds
  • Allows Continuum of Care (CoC) grantees to receive one year transitional grants as they transition from one program component to another


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