Last week, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA), Vice Ranking Member Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Ranking Member Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), hosted a roundtable discussion on how the Trump Administration’s full budget request would create suffering for whole communities; increase poverty, hunger and homelessness; and reduce economic development opportunities across the nation.
The panel, which featured both urban and rural community leaders, discussed the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program. CDBG and HOME have made important investments into local communities, including critical infrastructure developments, housing for the homeless, affordable housing redevelopment, and essential public services. The Ranking Members and the panel participants underscored how Trump’s massive cuts to housing and community development programs would put millions of Americans and their communities at risk:
“[Trump’s budget] proposal is to zero out [CDBG and HOME] altogether. This is going to be very harmful to the continuance of some of the programs and some of the assistance that your towns had for various operations in your communities.”
- Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA)
“With CDBG we have had a flexible tool to allow communities to tailor their particular needs to those resources to fight blight, to clean up empty spaces to rebuild, to support affordable housing to support the essential services whatever they may be, and help the community get itself back up on its feet again”
- Vice Ranking Member Dan Kildee (D-MI)
“What I want to talk to you about is the complete zeroing out of CDBG and HOME and how this is devastating to the cities, but it is even more devastating to rural areas.”
- Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Ranking Member Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
The featured panelists included: The Honorable Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of the City of Gary, Indiana; The Honorable David P. Helms, Mayor of the Town of Marion, Virginia; The Honorable Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania; The Honorable Renee Price, Commissioner, Orange County, North Carolina; Robin Hughes, President & CEO, Abode Communities, Los Angeles; Bonnie Moore, Director of Community Development, City of Shreveport, Louisiana and President of National Community Development Association; Bill Shelton, Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Council of State Community Development Agencies; and Schroeder Stribling, Executive Director, N Street Village, Washington D.C.
President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Request cuts the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s overall budget by approximately $7.4 billion compared to FY17. The Budget eliminates funding for key housing programs, including: CDBG; HOME; the National Housing Trust Fund; the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative; the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant; the Indian Community Development Block Grant; and the Self Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program and Section 4 Capacity Building programs. The Budget also severely cuts several housing programs, including: Public Housing; Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers; Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities; Tenant Protection Vouchers; Housing Counseling, the Lead Hazard Reduction program; and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). These budget cuts and program eliminations would hit America’s most vulnerable populations the hardest, including seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, the homeless, and families with children struggling to make ends meet.
To watch the panel discussion, click here.
To view a fact sheet on President Trump’s cuts to CDBG and HOME, click here.