On Monday at the National Low Income Housing Coalition conference in Washington, HUD Secretary Ben Carson stated that the Trump administration will include housing funding in the infrastructure bill, according to the Washington Post.
“The part that people are not hearing even though I’ve said it several times is that this administration considers housing a significant part of infrastructure in our country. And as such, the infrastructure bill that’s being worked on has a significant inclusion of housing in it,” Carson said.
Carson defended the Trump administration’s $6 billion proposed budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, saying “no one is going to be thrown out on the street.”
“There is no one—Section 811, 202—no one is going to be thrown out on the street,” he said. “What would that accomplish? That doesn’t make any sense and is certainly not going to happen while I’m around. We do have a responsibility.”
Last month, President Trump released his “America First” 2018 budget blueprint. The president plans to reduce spending in nearly every department, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and move the difference into defense spending. HUD specifically will see a $6.2 billion budget cut on 2018, a 13.2 percent decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level.
The proposed plan will cut $3 billion funding for the Community Development Block program alone, as well as additional cuts for the HOME Investment partnership program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program.
Previously, Carson stated in an email to his staff that the preliminary budget cuts would not make it into the final recommendation from the White House, though Carson has shown more support for the proposed cuts.
“The discretionary budget plan released today by President Trump aligns with Agency plans to provide rental assistance to low-income and vulnerable households and to help families achieve self-sufficiency," said HUD Secretary Carson in a statement. "The budget also promotes fiscal responsibility at HUD by promoting better efficiencies and leveraging IT modernization. I look forward to working with the President and remain keenly focused on HUD’s mission and core values.”