Last week President Trump’s administration released a FY2018 budget blueprint that slashes funding for programs in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Treasury that support housing and community development.
This budget will eradicate the funding programs that our members rely on to build housing with lasting affordability in their communities – including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the HOME Investment Partnership program, and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). The Administration’s proposed cuts would reduce the HUD budget by over 13%, but the vast majority of the reduction is from the very small portion of the HUD budget that does not support ongoing rental assistance, so the real impact will be devastating.
The homeownership rate in the United States is at its lowest in more than 50 years. Moreover, only 1 in 4 people who are eligible for Federal housing assistance are receiving the help they need today. We should be making significant investments in affordable housing, not eliminating programs and reducing funding.
“At a time when we should be expanding affordable and sustainable homeownership opportunities so that families with modest incomes can begin to build assets, the President’s proposal completely undercuts this goal,” said Melora Hiller, CEO of Grounded Solutions Network, a national organization working to build strong communities from the ground up. “Community land trusts and other shared equity programs depend upon HOME, CDBG and SHOP to build, rehabilitate, or reduce the cost of homes, making them affordable for generations of hard-working families with modest incomes.”
The loss of these programs and many of the other proposed budget reductions across the government will have a devastating effect on our cities and towns—communities that use these funds to weatherize and rehabilitate homes, build sidewalks in low income neighborhoods, and provide access to transportation. One specific example is public housing. Although President Trump claims to want to improve our country’s infrastructure, his budget would slash resources to repair and rehabilitate public housing developments owned by public housing authorities in rural, urban and suburban communities across the country. After years of prolonged and consistent underfunding of our public housing stock, these cuts would result in the loss of thousands of additional homes each year. We cannot afford to let this part of our public infrastructure crumble even further and we cannot accept that big cities and small towns are being left on their own to solve these problems.
“We know that where we live matters. It matters to our health, the quality of our education, the transportation options available and the jobs we can access”, says Hiller. “The United States has the resources to invest in our communities to make them equitable, inclusive, and rich in opportunity where everyone can afford to live and thrive. Unfortunately, this budget sends a strong message to our cities and towns that the Federal government is no longer a partner in this effort and that they’re on their own.”
About Grounded Solutions Network
Grounded Solutions Network supports strong communities from the ground up. Founded in 2016, Grounded Solutions Network connects national and local expertise; bringing together the networks, knowledge and support needed to build inclusive communities. As a non-profit member organization, we promote housing solutions that will stay affordable for generations so communities can stabilize and strengthen their foundation, for good. Backed by our members and significant support from the Ford Foundation, Grounded Solutions champions evidence-based policies and strategies that work. We help our members, partners and elected officials use them to establish inclusive communities that have diverse housing options for a variety of incomes, offering choice and opportunity for all residents – both today and for future generations. Learn more at GroundedSolutions.org.