In a country still reeling from the 2008 recession and the housing market crisis, the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 draft budget attacks on the Department of Housing and Urban Development have caused an outcry of shock and outrage.
HUD, currently led by Trump appointee and former presidential candidate Ben Carson, will face a tremendous reduction, dropping 13.2 percent with a loss of an estimated 6.2 billion dollars, the most severe of its kind to the HUD in over 30 years. Among these cuts are a $600 million reduction in funding public housing initiatives, a $1.3 billion loss for public housing maintenance and repairs, and another $1.3 billion from housing capital funds. These cuts would result in the loss of an estimated 123,786 jobs that the Department would have otherwise provided, as well as countless programs designed to aid lower-income populations in both rural and urban areas.
Some of the programs that would be cut include the Community Development Block Grant, which allow states to receive federal funding for infrastructure improvements. Other programs facing cuts include housing assistance such as HOME (the largest affordable housing program under the HUD), and Choice Neighborhoods, which will face a combined $1.1 billion budget cut. All of these programs are designed to increase availability and access to affordable housing and aid low-income neighborhoods across the U.S., but with such serious cuts it will be no longer feasible for them to meet the undeniable needs of millions of underprivileged people, much less survive altogether.
It is important to note that at the time of this writing, the budget has not passed in full nor are all of its provisions expected to. Regardless, the proposed budget for 2018 illustrates the intent of the Trump regime with irrefutable clarity. By eviscerating publicly funded housing programs, the road to even greater privatization of the housing sector (among many others) is being steadily paved. All at this is happening at a time in which gentrification and escalating housing costs, combined with a massive homeless and at-risk population, constitutes a immense and ever-growing crisis which the Trump regime appears more than willing to ignore.
Taken together, these actions further strip away the faux populism of Trump, showcasing his undeniable contempt for the under-served and disenfranchised working class.
Instead of homes, it is deportations, walls and war that the Trump regime is intent on providing. If the 2018 budget proposal is an indication of anything, it is a veritable declaration of war on the working poor, dispossessed, undocumented and underprivileged people of not only the United States, but the world as a whole.