The Trump administration released its budget for fiscal year 2019 this week, and as our colleagues at Curbed report, “the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) both saw their budgets slashed by billions of dollars, with many of the cuts on HUD’s side affecting programs that aid low-income families.”
In New York City, this could mean major cuts to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which receives about $2 billion of its overall $3.2 billion operating budget from HUD.
Trump’s proposed budget calls for a significant decrease to the Public Housing Operating Fund, which could mean a reduction of as much as $466 million from NYCHA’s operating budget, according to a press release from the agency. It would also eliminate the Public Housing Capital Fund in its entirety—a move that would take $346 million away from NYCHA’s budget for repairs—and would do away with nearly 10,000 Section 8 vouchers, creating a shortfall of more than $124 million.
NYCHA estimates that its various properties, which house more than 400,000 New Yorkers, are in dire need of approximately $17 billion in capital repairs. And the problems with the agency’s aging buildings are reaching a fever pitch—delays in removing toxic lead paint and this winter’s widespread heat outages are just the tip of the iceberg.
“For decades, the federal government alongside housing experts and advocates all agreed that paying more than 30 percent of a family’s income to rent was a burden,” NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye said in a statement. “Today, the President is walking away from that commitment and has shown once again that he is out of touch with most Americans’ experience. This proposal could lead to significant increases in rents per month when many are already struggling to make ends meet.”
While affordable housing advocates have decried the Trump administration’s proposal, “experts believe it has little chance of passing as is,” according to Curbed. The proposed budget for the current fiscal year was never brought to a vote; instead, a series of stopgap measures were passed to keep the federal government open.