The president’s budget for fiscal year 2021 calls for the elimination of block grant programs and a reduction of HUD’s budget by 15 percent.

President Donald Trump’s latest 2021 budget proposal was released Monday and calls for a $8.6 billion — or 15.2 percent reduction — in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) total budget, bringing requested discretionary funding to a level of $47.9 billion.

“The Budget reflects the President’s commitment to reforming programs to encourage work and self-sufficiency, and provides targeted but fiscally responsible investments that assist vulnerable low-income households,” the White House budget proposal reads.

The biggest savings — an estimated $4.8 billion — would come from eliminating federal spending on block grants and instead shifting the onus onto state and local governments. Community block grants, according to HUD, are flexible programs that, since 1974, provide low-income communities with funds to address a variety of needs. The administration specifically proposes the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

The administration is also proposing an overhaul of the rental assistance programs relied upon by 4.6 million low-income individuals.

“To constrain cost growth, the Budget re-proposes rent reforms that would require workable individuals to shoulder more of their housing costs while providing an incentive to increase their earnings,” the proposal reads.

The proposed budget attempts to mitigate the impact the reforms would have on the elderly and disabled persons by providing $120 million to construct 1,200 new units of housing for the population.

Plans also include the elimination of the Public Housing Capital Fund and Choice Neighborhoods grant program, a grant that aims to transform struggling neighborhoods through a variety of investments. The budget proposal also includes millions of dollars for programs promoting self-sufficiency, modernization of the Federal Housing Administration, lead and hazard mitigation and reforms to disaster recovery assistance.

Trump’s budget proposal also includes deep cuts to health care and education spending, while increasing spending for the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

The budget process isn’t as simple as the President making a proposal and it becoming law, as now the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate will begin to divide the spending proposals among subcommittees and examine the expenditures before a final vote. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the Democrat-majority controlled House of Representatives has already been vocal about opposition to the proposal.

“The federal budget is supposed to be a statement of national values,” Pelosi said, in a statement. “Once again, the President is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families. The President’s budget is anti-growth, does not create good-paying jobs and increases the national debt.”

Email Patrick Kearns

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