By Guillermo Mayer, President & CEO, Public Advocates
Like so many, I am outraged by President Trump’s unconscionable budget outline. At a time when millions of families are caught in a historic housing affordability crisis, the Trump-Carson budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposes $6.2 billion in cuts to vital programs that help everyday families have a place to call home. It also eliminates all grants to urban and rural communities that help spur job creation and economic development. These immoral cuts will exacerbate homelessness, racial and economic inequality, and fall hardest on our most vulnerable neighbors.
Equally insidious is the dishonesty in the Trump-Carson numbers for HUD. The budget doesn’t fully disclose how the administration plans to reach the full $6.2 billion in cuts. For example, it fails to acknowledge what The Washington Post reported last week: that nearly $2 billion in cuts are on the table for public housing – funds that operate and make capital repairs like removing mold and other hazards from over 1 million homes, including many where children live. Why the smoke and mirrors? Perhaps because Secretary Carson, a retired physician, doesn’t want to have to answer to the public for cuts that will increase asthma rates and childhood illnesses during his “national listening tour,” which kicked off in Detroit this week.
Trump’s budget also falsely suggests that no one benefiting from direct HUD housing support would lose their homes. We know this is a lie: based simply on inflation and cost of housing increases, flat funding for crucial programs such as housing vouchers will result in many families losing their homes. One estimate suggests that we could lose 200,000 homes. This would be roughly equivalent to forcing the entire population of Des Moines, Iowa to live on the streets.
Adding insult to injury, Trump’s budget seeks to eliminate all federal funds for legal aid, which protects tens of thousands of tenants annually from unlawful evictions. Slumlords couldn’t be happier.
By going along with these devastating cuts, Dr. Carson is not only breaking his Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, he is reneging on his promise to the U.S. Senate to fight for HUD programs. With that promise broken, he’s now actively enabling President Trump’s assault on our communities and the sacred places we call home.
Join CarsonWatch and fight these immoral cuts every step of the way.