From youth yearning for the time to have their own place, to older Americans hoping to age in place, the need to have a home is a shared concern of consumers of all ages and locales. It’s where children are raised and memorable moments dwell. It’s also where many people rest, reflect, and shut out the worries of the day.
Right now, the future of our country’s commitment to housing is in jeopardy. In the recently-released White House Budget Blueprint, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will not resemble its former self. While some programs are proposed to become smaller, others are identified for extinction. Fortunately, while the President proposes a budget, Congress must hold hearings that offer opportunities to amend what some would deem indefensible.
The irony is that so many HUD programs and services that have enjoyed longstanding, broad and bi-partisan support across the country are among those proposed to end.
For example, since 1974, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has provided local and state officials the flexibility to fund local priorities for services, projects and partnerships. Whether the need was affordable housing, blight removal, community supportive services or a way to leverage capital in redevelopment projects, local concerns have guided how to make the best use of federal funds.
According to the White House Budget Blueprint, CDBG would absorb $3 billion of HUD’s proposed $6.2 billion agency cut. Reactions from municipal leaders and organizations was swift.