President Donald Trump’s administration has already announced massive budget cuts to everything from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Internal Revenue Service. Now a new report indicates that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is next on the chopping block.
The White House is reportedly considering more than $6 billion in cuts to HUD, according to The Washington Post. Although the current plan would not reduce funding to rental assistance programs, it would slash the budgets for community development projects and building maintenance. This would include a $600 million reduction in the operational funds for public housing authorities, $1.3 billion from big-ticket repairs at public housing facilities, and $1.3 billion from the public housing capital fund. The Community Development Block Grant Program would be entirely defunded after receiving $3 billion for the 2017 fiscal year.
All told, this would reduce HUD’s budget by roughly 14 percent, to $40.5 billion starting in October, when the 2018 fiscal year begins.
While HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson refused to comment on the story to The Post, Carson has been under considerable fire since he was first nominated for the position. In addition to lacking any experience in housing and urban development, Carson put in a lackluster performance at his confirmation hearing and marred his first speech to HUD staffers with a comment that referred to African slaves as immigrants.
“That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,” Carson said at the time. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”