New HUD budget draft deals blow to affordable housing

by Anna Sobrevinas23 May 2017
A new budget draft by the Trump administration for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is aiming to slash funding on affordable housing and calls on the private sector for more involvement in the community, according to a report by Politico.

In March, an initial 2018 budget draft for the HUD was released by the Office of Management and Budget requesting for a $40.7bn budget – “a $6.2 billion or 13.2% decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level.”

The new and detailed budget draft dated May 4, by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) presents deals a blow to affordable housing, as it aims to kill the Housing Trust Fund program funded by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits.

The Housing Trust Fund enables states to increase and preserve the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low-income families.

Housing advocates are not happy about the cut. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel said the “budget proposes cuts from a butcher’s axe rather than a surgeon’s knife.”

“The budget belies Dr. Carson’s promises by proposing cuts that would directly harm millions of low income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans and other vulnerable people who struggle to keep a roof over their heads,” said Yentel.

The budget also recommended the removal of the Community Development Block Grant which would save the government $3bn. The program helps low- and moderate-income communities with a range of economic development projects. But proponents of cutting the grant said the program – which the government has spent more than $150bn on since 1974 – hasn’t delivered favorable results.

The budget is also calling for increased involvement from the private sector: “The budget recognizes a greater role for state and local governments and the private sector in addressing community development and affordable housing needs. These programs are also duplicative or overlap with other federal, state and local efforts.”

Mortgage budget proposals include a limit of $400bn on loan guarantees for the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund; $213.9bn in insurance for single family forward mortgages; and $14.8bn in HECMs.

Related stories:
Carson praises HUD-funded program Trump administration wants to ax
Carson aims to steer HUD beyond its “maintenance” role


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