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A Defense of HUD's Grant Funding
Josh Cohen reports on the potential consequences of draft cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget, reported last week.
"If implemented, the changes would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, shrink the voucher program that provides rental assistance to the poor, reduce housing programs for elderly people and people with disabilities, and much more," writes Cohen to summarizes the draft changes. Cohen examines an affordable housing case study from Austin, Texas to examine the realities of these potential cuts, specifically the portfolio of a non-profit called Foundation Communities.
"Austin’s Foundation Communities doesn’t rely heavily on HUD grants to fund housing construction," according to Cohen. "CDBG paid for just $1.15 million of another recent, $22 million development they built. But [communications director Alyah] Khan says they would certainly feel the pinch and that they, 'need continued support from the federal government.'"
A couple of new reports by the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) lend additional detail to the article's portrait of the affordable housing landscape if the Trump Administration and Congress manage to slash HUD's funding in the upcoming budget process. "NLIHC estimates that if the rumored budget is enacted, 200,000 housing vouchers would be lost, and the U.S. would lose about 10,000 housing units for seniors and another 6,800 units for people with disabilities," reports Cohen.
Cohen also notes the speculative nature of the draft budget, potential cuts to the HUD budget have a long way to go before they are enacted. Meanwhile, there's already a bipartisan effort underway in Congress to double the size of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.