March 16, 2017

Brown Blasts Trump Plan to Slash Housing Assistance for Low-Income Urban and Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs – today blasted President Trump’s proposal to cut the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by more than $6 billion and eliminate programs critical to maintaining the nation’s supply of affordable housing. The budget plan also would cut funding for public transit programs and community development grants.

“The Trump Administration’s proposal to gut critical funding for housing, transit, and community development contradicts the President’s repeated promises to invest in America’s infrastructure and rebuild our cities,” said Brown. “Cuts of this magnitude are as dangerous as they are cruel, especially at a time when more than 11 million families are paying more than half their income toward rent. This budget will put more Ohio children, families, and seniors at risk of losing their homes, and I will do everything in my power to oppose it.”

Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget plan would reduce HUD’s budget by 13 percent. It also would eliminate funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, which supports a broad range of urban-renewal, rural water infrastructure, and affordable housing projects in cities and towns of all sizes across Ohio. The state received $137.5 million in funding for community development grants in fiscal 2016 alone.

The President’s budget also eliminates the HOME Investment Partnerships program, which helps communities create and maintain affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities for families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and homeless veterans. The proposal also would eliminate the Choice Neighborhoods program, a neighborhood revitalization program aimed at low-income areas. In fiscal 2016, communities across Ohio received $38.9 million in HOME funds and $1.5 million in Choice Neighborhoods grants.

Last week, Brown led a group of Banking Committee Democrats in questioning HUD Secretary Ben Carson on the Trump Administration’s plan to slash HUD's funding. The Senators stressed that cuts of this size would be devastating for children and families nationwide, and would be contrary to Carson’s testimony to the Banking Committee during his Jan. 12 confirmation hearing.

Within the Federal Transit Administration, Trump proposed eliminating all future projects in the Capital Investment Grant program, which assists communities across the nation with building and expanding rail and bus networks. The budget provides funding only for a small number of projects currently under construction, eventually eliminating the $2.2 billion now allocated annually to expand transit services.