Trump's budget would slash funding for federal homelessness agency

Mar 16 2017
Posted by: Staff
Trump's budget would slash funding for federal homelessness agency

By: Amelia Ferrell Knisely

A government agency tasked with preventing and ending homelessness will see its funding slashed under President Trump’s new budget proposal.

Trump unveiled his preliminary 2018 budget proposal today, and the plan says the president will eliminate funding for 19 federal agencies, including the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

USICH was established by Congress in 1987 to coordinate the federal response to homelessness. According to the agency’s website, USICH works “in close partnership with Cabinet Secretaries and other senior leaders across our 19 federal agencies.”

In 2010, under the Obama administration, USICH released its first ever national plan to prevent and end homelessness. The goals included preventing and ending homelessness among veterans by 2015 and ending chronic homelessness in 2017.

In January, the agency reported it had reduced overall homelessness by 14 percent nationwide between 2010 and 2016, and had reduced veteran homelessness by 47 percent.

Judy Tackett, interim director of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, said her agency has been working closely with USICH. "Our partnership has been extremely helpful, especially as we focus on ending Veteran homelessness in Nashville," she said. "It would be a huge loss to local communities and cities if USICH were to be cut."

"Ending homelessness means building a systems approach that prevents homelessness whenever possible and when people lose housing, assist them quickly so that homelessness becomes rare, brief and a one-time occurrence for every individual and family," Tackett added. "The USICH was essential in helping local communities talk about what ending homelessness actually means."

In an email, USICH said it does not have a comment on the budget proposal at this time. 

The 53-page budget plan, which Trump named “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” also calls for a $6.2 billion, or 13 percent, reduction in the fiscal 2018 budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Part of that cut will include eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program, which provides funding for affordable housing and public facilities improvements, and provides some funding for Meals on Wheels.

The budget proposes cutting funding for these other agencies:

  • African Development Foundation

  • Appalachian Regional Commission

  • Chemical Safety Board

  • Corporation for National and Community Service

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting

  • Delta Regional Authority

  • Denali Commission

  • Institute of Museum and Library Sciences

  • Inter-American Foundation

  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency

  • Legal Services Corporation

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
  • National Endowment for the Arts

  • National Endowment for the Humanities

  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation

  • Northern Border Regional Commission

  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation

  • U.S. Institute of Peace

  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The budget would not take effect until Oct 1.  



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