Earlier today the White House released its detailed FY18 Budget proposal that includes drastic cuts to programs crucial to North Carolinians. At a time when affordable housing is more of a challenge for both rural and urban North Carolina, the budget slashes funding to HUD by $7.4 billion, down nearly 15% from FY17. To get a small sense of the impact this would have on North Carolina, in FY15 alone, our state received $868.2 million in HUD funds that supported more than 11,000 jobs. Below is a list of some significant programs that impact affordable housing and community and economic development that have been eliminated or drastically reduced.
The budget also calls for a future $1 trillion infrastructure package. Regardless of whether housing is considered as infrastructure, it is unwise and irresponsible to replace ongoing appropriations for USDA and HUD with the hope of a future, one-time spending package that has no guarantee of passing.
In an off-camera briefing, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney explained the underlying philosophy of the cuts: “…we are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs. We’re going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs and get back in charge of their own lives.”
This budget is neither compassionate, nor does it put people in charge of their own lives – it simply leaves our most vulnerable neighbors out in the cold.
The President’s budget combined with the budget released by the NC Senate last week would devastate North Carolina communities. This proposal shifts financial responsibility for the federal government’s largest housing and economic opportunity programs to state and local governments. The NC General Assembly has already clearly indicated that it is unwilling to take on that responsibility. Local government budgets are already struggling to meet their housing affordability needs. This is more bad news for every North Carolinian.
What can you do to oppose these cuts?
- Join the Coalition as we work with our local, state, and national partners to fight for a more realistic budget. We need your help more than ever;
- Continue to reach out to North Carolina’s delegation and let them know that President Trump’s budget does not “make North Carolina great again.” It only makes it harder for North Carolinians to find a decent, affordable place to live.
- Senator Thom Tillis (202-224-6342);
- Senator Richard Burr (202-224-3154); and
- your Representative.
You can also read a detailed analysis of the budget by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.