Report: Early Trump administration budget would cut HUD funding by $6B

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The White House is considering cutting $6 billion from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a preliminary budget plan, the Washington Post reported.

Public housing funding and federal grants for community development programs, which also include meal assistance, are reportedly on the chopping block.

The proposal would completely cut funding for the Community Development Block Grant Program, a program with support from both sides of the aisle that was budgeted $3 billion for this fiscal year. 

{mosads}HUD suggests in the plan that community projects could receive funding from non-federal sources, the Washington Post reports.

The public housing capital fund would have almost $1.3 billion cut from its original 2016 funding under the preliminary plan, the Post reported, which would largely affect the ability of public housing authorities to provide vouchers as well as subsidized housing to local, lower-income residents.

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Choice Neighborhoods, which help lower-income communities afford housing or redevelop lower-income areas, are also on the cut list.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposal in its current form would cut around $4 billion total in community planning and development grants.

The proposal shows that funding for rental assistance programs would remain unchanged. 

President Donald Trump promised to cut $54 billion in domestic spending, which would go instead towards bolstering the defense budget. The proposed budget cuts would shrink the HUD budget by almost 14 percent in the 2018 fiscal year.

The budget, however, is still in the early stages. HUD spokesman Jereon Brown told the Washington Post it is still “a work in progress.”

Sheila Greenwood, Carson’s chief of staff, did not respond to the Washington Post’s requests for comment.

It is not yet clear what cuts will be in the final budget proposal, but the Trump administration is expected to release the budget plan sometime next week. 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has suggested that people could become overly dependent on public assistance as “a way of life.” 

The budget proposal was likely crafted before Carson started in his role as HUD secretary, given the process and the deadlines, the Washington Post reports.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the document was for too “premature” for the Trump administration to comment on, and referred reporters to OMB spokesman John Czwartacki.

“The president and his Cabinet are working collaboratively as we seek to create a budget that keeps the president’s promises to secure the country and prioritize taxpayer funds,” Czwartacki told the Washington Post.

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