Pittsfield (Mass.) Housing Authority: HUD Budget Cuts Would Affect Elderly Residents
As the House and the Senate begin their work on an omnibus spending package for FY 2018, they do so in the shadow of the White House proposed budget, which includes an 18.3 percent cut for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This budget also eliminates the Public Housing Capital Fund (funded at $4.5 billion in 2016) and cuts $1.93 billion from the Public Housing Operating Fund (a 44 percent decrease). These devastating cuts to public housing, which provides affordable homes to 2.1 million low-income Americans, would harm communities nationwide.
The Pittsfield Housing Authority has 164 public housing units – 73 for families and 91 for the elderly and/or individuals with disabilities. “Our elderly residents will be severely affected by the proposed cuts to our public housing funding,” said Executive Director Sharon LeBarnes. “The building they live in was built in 1974, and is in dire need of updating. We can’t even find replacement parts for the lighting.”
“Like everyone else, we depend on the Capital and Operating Fund money to keep our buildings maintained and repaired,” LeBarnes continued. “We have to deal with normal wear and tear on appliances and plumbing, as well as the effects of age.”
NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman agreed. “It is difficult to comprehend how out of touch this budget is with the realities of immediate housing needs. We now look to the Congress to craft a realistic budget that addresses the immediate needs that face Pittsfield and other communities nationwide.
NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of almost 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO's membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.6 million people.
Contact: Sylvia Gimenez