Proposed HUD Budget Cuts Would Devastate Clarksville and Dover (Ark.) Housing Authorities
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.
Together, the Clarksville and Dover Housing Authorities shelter 274 family members, including 52 children. These residents include a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran, a formerly homeless 58-year-old man, a 66-year-old widow who was forced into foreclosure, and a 29-year-old single mother of two who is going to nursing school. “These are just some of the people, the members of our community who depend on HUD funding for their housing,” says Metta Holman, who is the Executive Director of both housing authorities.
If these cuts are enacted, Clarksville would lose nearly $300,000 and Dover would lose about $22,000 – precious funds, especially in a time of falling federal commitment to affordable housing. The money is already earmarked to take care of a list of long-overdue repairs. “In Clarksville,” Ms. Holman explains, “we need the 2018 money to add to our 2017 funds in order to replace heat and air equipment in about 32 homes – among other things.” But Dover is in a tougher situation. “In 2016, we were fortunate enough to receive an emergency grant to fix drainage problems and water damage. Now, we need to replace 20 HVAC systems that were installed in 1998, and we have no money. These replacements are a high priority– we need to be able to provide our residents with efficient and stable heat and air conditioning.”
“We have children, seniors, and working families living in our buildings,” Ms. Holman says. “Without this funding, how can we continue to provide them with decent and affordable housing?”
NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman agreed. “It is difficult to comprehend how out of touch this budget is with the realities of housing needs. We now look to the Congress to craft a realistic budget that addresses the immediate needs that face Clarksville, Dover, 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