On Wednesday, President Trump released his “America First” 2018 budget blueprint, which would reduce spending in nearly every federal department, including The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The President’s plan is to cut $6 billion from HUD, 13 percent of the department’s budget. The question is, who could feel this affect the most?
Two HUD programs will be hit particularly hard: The Community Development Block Program (CDBG), and the Section Eight rental assistance program. Section Eight would receive a $3 billion cut, while CDBG is slated to be eliminated entirely. The Federal Government has spent over $150 billion on the CDBG program since its inception in 1974. Reasoning behind the cut is that the program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations, and has not yielded results. Trulia finds that the Section Eight cut would disproportionately affect young, urban, African-American households.
Using data from the 2016 CPS Annual Social and Economic Supplement, Trulia found that people under the age of 35 make up nearly 60 percent of voucher holders under Section Eight programs even though they make up just 48 percent of the population. Additionally, 49 percent of voucher holders are white, while 41 percent of are African-American, even though African Americans only make up about 13 percent of the population.
African-Americans are vastly overrepresented as a share of those receiving federal rental assistance. On top of this, Trulia found that the majority of those receiving Section Eight assistance live in urban city centers. Only 28 percent of the population lives in city centers, yet 44 percent of voucher holders live in these areas.
Other HUD programs slated to be cut are the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, a total savings of $1.1 billion.