President Trump unveiled his fiscal 2018 budget plan yesterday that proposes sharp increases to defense spending along with corresponding cuts to scores of non-defense discretionary programs.
Notably, the administration puts HUD's funding at $40.7 billion, down $6.2 billion or 13.2% from the $46.9 billion in 2017.
It is important to note that this is the first step in the budget process.
The president's budget is meant to serve as a marker, but it is up to the Congress to write and submit a federal budget. Lawmakers are expected to take several months to go through the appropriations process, and the final budget approved by Congress is likely to be significantly different than the White House draft.
Nevertheless, the administration's budget will be debated by lawmakers. The White House budget would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which provides communities with resources to address a wide range of urban renewal projects. The CDBG program received $3 billion in funding for 2017.
The budget would also eliminate the HOME Investment Partnership and Choice Neighborhoods programs.
HOME received $950 million in funding for 2017.
The program is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Many multifamily builders often use the HOME program to fund developments in conjunction with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
The proposed budget would provide $130 million, an increase of $20 million, for the mitigation of lead-based paint and other hazards.
The HUD budget lacked specific figures regarding Project Based Section 8 housing.
The budget also includes significant cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the departments of Labor and Agriculture.
Again, this is the first salvo in what will be a long, drawn-out process.
As lawmakers focus on budget deliberations in the coming weeks and months, NAHB will work aggressively to remove any provisions that will harm housing and push for elements that will help small businesses and the housing community.