President Donald Trump’s FY21 Budget Hits Housing Programs Hard

By Steven Farrell, Director of Communications and Policy

For the third time in as many years, Donald Trump released a federal budget that undermines housing programs that serve millions of families and individuals across this country – including those that have proven successful at developing housing for those with lowest incomes, vouchers for elders and people with disabilities, and tax incentives for supporting community-building developments.

Metro Housing calls upon Congress to request and pass a bipartisan budget that supports people in need of affordable housing throughout the region. As they have done in the past, Congress should continue to listen to the concerns and needs of the households that benefit from federal support.

Metro Housing knows something about the importance of federal support for affordable housing because we administer more than 6,000 vouchers of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, more commonly known as Section 8. These 6,000 households represent families and individuals who benefit from this home-stabilizing program that requires – and typically has– support from both sides of the aisle.

However, Trump is straying from previous general support for housing and development programs. From big budget line items to small, the Trump budget decimates housing programs across the board.

Overall tenant based rental assistance and all of the Section 8 line items are cut by $5 billion, more than 20 per cent compared to Trump’s last budget.

While the budget actually increases the Family Self Sufficiency Program by $10 million to help voucher holders increase their assets and employability, that increase is more than overwhelmed by cuts in other areas.

The Mobility Demonstration Project for families trying to take advantage of additional flexibility within the Housing Choice Voucher Program:  Zeroed out.

Two finance tools for developing homes affordable to those with lowest incomes (HOME and Community Development Block Grants): Both zeroed out.

Numerous other programs are either cut dramatically or zeroed out, all to the detriment of families who would otherwise be safely and stably housed. Putting families’ health and livelihood at risk for a presumed political advantage is shortsighted, mean, and unbecoming the budget of one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

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