Proposed budget cuts threaten millions of HUD subsidized low-income renters

Tiny - Posted on 19 February 2017

Oakland - Tenant activists are urging low-income renters in HUD’s (Department of Housing and Urban Development) subsidized housing programs to contact their representatives during February 18 - February 26, to speak up in support of HUD’s subsidized housing programs. Massive budget cuts to the federal government are being proposed ranging from $6 trillion, to over $10 trillion during the next ten years. 

In the Bay Area according to HUD, the Oakland Housing Authority has 13,422 federally subsidized housing units in it’s section 8 inventory, and 2,122 units in it’s low rent inventory, formerly known as public housing units. 

San Francisco has 9,711 units in it’s section 8 subsidized housing inventory, and 3,756 units in it’s low rent inventory. San Francisco is in the process of privatizing more than 4,584 public housing units under the RAD program. South San Francisco has 80 units in it’s low rent inventory. 

According to HUD, there are approximately 1.2 million households living in public housing units, managed by around 3,300 Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the nation. 

Additionally, according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the Housing Choice Voucher Program (section 8 voucher program) assists more than 2.2 million low-income households across the nation including veterans, the chronically ill, elderly, blind and disabled. 

Millions of households locally and across the nation being assisted with their housing needs from HUD’s subsidized housing programs, will be severely impacted or made homeless if the GOP/Republicans have it their way. If President Donald Trump and Congress cuts the budget of HUD’s subsidized housing programs in the near future, including severe budget cuts or the elimination of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (section 8 program) being proposed as an option, it will be a total disaster for millions of children, veterans, the chronically ill, elderly, blind, disabled and low-income families locally, and across the nation. 

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (section 8 voucher program) is already being underfunded according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), and rental assistance to families with children is at it's lowest point in a decade. More budget cuts would be a complete disaster for millions of families, and will result in much more homelessness in the Bay Area, and across the nation. 

Additionally, thousands of renters residing in the so-called affordable housing projects of the nonprofit housing developers in the East Bay would be placed at risk of homelessness if Trump/GOP cuts the budget to HUD’s subsidized housing programs. Unfortunately for many poor low-income households, they already are being excluded from many so-called affordable housing projects because of minimum income requirements, in addition to projects that exclude renters with an income less that 30% of the area median income (AMI). 

In other cities in the Bay Area. The Richmond Housing Authority has 1,851 units in it’s section 8 subsidized housing inventory, and 559 units in it’s low rent inventory. 

Berkeley Housing Authority has 1,935 units in it’s section 8 subsidized housing inventory, and has sold it’s 75 public housing town homes to some out of state billionaires. 

Alameda Housing Authority has 1,845 units in it’s section 8 subsidized housing inventory. The Alameda County Housing Authority has 6,341 units in it’s section 8 subsidized housing inventory, and one low rent housing development managed by the agency. 

In Contra Costa County, there are 6,921 units in their section 8 subsidized housing inventory, and 1,177 low rent units. 

In Marin County, there are 2,162 units in their section 8 subsidized housing inventory, and 496 low rent units. 

Tens of thousands of low-income households in the Bay Area, including veterans, the chronically ill, elderly, blind and disabled, are being placed at risk of homelessness if the Republicans have it their way, now that they have gained full control of the House and Senate, including the White House. In recent years, it has become apparent that the Republicans want to dismantle HUD, and terminate all of it’s subsidized housing programs. 

National Alliance of HUD Tenants 

In a release from the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT), “Tenant leaders and organizers are encouraged to mobilize people to participate in Town Halls and other actions during the Congressional recess, February 18-26.      

Although the Administrations budget proposal is now not expected until May, it is not too soon to begin educating our members and allies and challenging Members of Congress that WE WILL NOT STAND for cuts to housing, health, Social Security and other vital programs, and to support the Peoples Budget from the House Progressive Caucus as an alternative! 

NAHT, through the Peoples Budget Campaign, will be drafting Talking Points and Questions to challenge Members of Congress during the upcoming recess.   A delegation of HUD tenants from the District can try to put their Representative or Senator on notice that WE WILL NOT BE MOVED!   

Please keep the NAHT office informed if you are able to participate in a forum near you!     

“NAHT is also asking its local affiliates to PREPARE NOW for coordinated protests later this spring, as details about the Administration and/or House Budgets emerge. We know their cuts will be somewhere between the Ryan Budget ($6 trillion in cuts over 10 years), and the even more extremist “Freedom Caucus/Heritage Foundation Budget” ($10 trillion in cuts over 10 years) supported last year by Rep. Mulvaney, Trump’s nominee for the Office of Management and Budget! The forums February 18-26 will be a great opportunity to begin educating people your local press NOW about what is likely to come.” 

National Low-Income Housing Coalition 

In a release from the National Low-income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), called Affordable Housing and Transportation Programs Threatened, “Funding for affordable housing, community development, and transportation programs is under attack. Contact Congress today and tell them to protect the federal spending needed to ensure families and communities can thrive.  And sign your organization onto a letter by advocates calling on Congress to protect vital programs. 

In late January 2017, news broke that the Trump Administration is preparing dramatic cuts to the federal budget to reduce spending by over $10 trillion over 10 years, while also promising to increase defense spending and cut taxes that predominantly benefit wealthy Americans. Severe budget cuts will largely fall on critical safety net and other essential programs, including affordable housing, community development, and transportation programs that help raise families out of poverty—programs that are already facing devastating cuts in the upcoming budget year because of the very low spending caps required by law. 

Organizations and advocates concerned about transportation, housing, community development, and homelessness are working together to circulate a letter urging Congress to lift the harmful caps on federal spending and provide the highest level of funding possible for these programs in fiscal year (FY) 2018.” 

Making matters worse, is President Donald Trump's racist attack on sanctuary cities including Oakland, and other cities all across the nation according to the East Bay Express

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] 


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