Editor's corner/ Over a cup of tea
Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the
Year for the State of
|UNABLE TO CONTINUE WORKING??
There should be help.
Social Security Disability and SSI -
Programs designed to help individuals
who are disabled from work.
IF YOU APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY
AND/OR SSI AND YOU ARE DENIED,
THERE IS HELP!
Reaction on Trump’s 2019
Budget Proposal Re Housing
to help deeply low income people avoid
Eliminate funding to the Treasury
Department for Community Development
Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund grants and
Eliminate the Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG) at
the Department of Health and Human
Eliminate the Weatherization Assistance
Program (WAP) at the Department of Energy.
If you are a retired senior citizen in the United
States of America with very limited resources,
and you are also worried about your health,
you better find another place outside America
to retire! I myself cannot afford to live
comfortably in my second home. America is
no longer a greener pasture for the poor, the
immigrants, the disabled, and the elderly.
With a president like Donald Trump, expect a
shorter life span for low-income people who
will suffer more from stress and anxiety.
Is there anything worth agreeing to President Trump’s new budget proposal? I haven’t read the
whole thing, but just scanning the major increases and decreases in this budget, there is
something obviously clear to me! This budget proposal reinforces Trump’s lack of concern for
communities of color and low-income working people.
First I noticed was the drastic cuts to affordable housing benefits that directly assist low-income
seniors/elderly, those with disabilities, veterans, and families with small children. This budget
proposes to remove federal investments in affordable housing. According to the National Low
Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC),
“At a time when the affordable housing crisis has reached new heights, and homelessness is
increasing in some communities, the president proposes to eliminate essential housing and
community development programs, like the national Housing Trust Fund, Community
Development Block Grants, the HOME Investments Partnership Program, and the U.S.
Interagency Council on Homelessness. The backlog of public housing capital repair needs is
upwards of $40 billion, but the Administration proposes to entirely eliminate federal funding for
capital repairs and slash funding to operate public housing.”
In addition, rental assistance, through the Housing Choice Voucher program, will be cut by
nearly $3 billion, estimated to result in more than 200,000 housing vouchers lost. Let us expect more evictions, more
homeless people roaming our cities and neighborhoods, and more winter deaths in our streets. With rent increases and
the imposition of work requirements for tenants, including the poorest elderly and disabled people, do you really think this
administration is not offering them early death?
Let me ask you then, will the rich and famous be greatly affected by such a proposal? Of course not! It is us, who rely on
important housing grants and subsidies for the poor and working families, who will continue to suffer.
What else did we find out from NLIHC? Under Trump’s proposal, the national Housing Trust Fund, which helps build and
preserve affordable homes to the poor and the homeless, will be gone. The HTF is funded thru a small fee on Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac, housing finance reform and other legislations. Without it, any idea on how housing finance reform law
could ever happen?
Other housing programs that will take drastic cuts/elimination:
--Fair Housing: The budget would decrease funding for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Specifically,
the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) would be cut by $3 million.
-- Other HUD Programs will be eliminated, such as the Community Development Block Grant program, the HOME
Investment Partnerships program, Choice Neighborhoods grants, the Section 4 Capacity Building program, and the Self-
Help Homeownership Opportunity Program. There is no discussion of how eliminating CDBG would impact future
disaster relief efforts, which heavily rely on CDBG-Disaster Recovery funds to address unmet housing and infrastructure
-- Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program’s funding will be reduced by $14 million less than last year’s.
--Funding for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program would decrease to $330 million, down
from $356 million in FY17.
--Funding for the Native American Housing Block Grant program will be reduced by $54 million, or a little more than 8%,
when compared to FY17. The Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant program would receive no funds.
How about cuts to different agencies as regards some housing-related programs?
Cut health and nutrition benefits by imposing work requirements on Medicaid recipients and new restrictions on the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Eliminate funding for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
(NeighborWorks America), and the Legal Services Corporation (Legal Aid), which is often the only resource available