By Kelly Iradukunda, People's Platform & Admin Organizing Apprentice
In the midst of an affordable housing crisis here in the nation's capital, the Trump administration adds its own recipe to the disaster by cutting HUD's budget of $6.8 billion in funding for affordable housing, which will leave the department with an overall budget 14% smaller than last year's. It is estimated that Washington, D.C. will lose over $34 million annually as a result of the proposed HUD budget cuts.
These HUD budget cuts will pose a particular threat to the District's already underfunded affordable housing system. According to the Washington City Paper, the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA), which is responsible for providing affordable housing to low-and-moderate income D.C residents, already receives only 83 to 86% of what is required to maintain the city's properties. D.C. is already suffering from increased homelessness and this budget, amongst other things, eliminates the U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Additionally, Trump's cuts will affect the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), which funds a variety of community development projects. Budget cuts to this program will affect planned capital improvements to public housing properties owned and operated by the local government. Under Trump's budget cuts, DHCD funding will decrease by over 70%. The proposed budget cuts will also affect Section 811, which benefits disabled people. With the proposed budget cuts, DCHA will receive far less funds than it currently receives and needs, putting roughly 20,000 D.C. public housing residents at risk of displacement.
This is where ONE DC's campaign, Universal Housing: A Public Option for the Social Good, comes in. In an era of constant threats on the poor, it is imperative we protect the health, safety, and welfare of working-class residents, especially people of color, by preserving, maintaining and expanding public housing.
It is absolutely illogical that there are thousands of homeless families in our nation's capital, while a new soccer stadium almost entirely funded by the District's money is being built. Clearly, we cannot depend on the Federal Government to ensure the safety and needs of the working-class. It is time to take control of our local money and redirect D.C resources towards its residents.