Trump could cut millions in funding for New York City public housing programme

Mythili Sampathkumar
Dr Ben Carson is the head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

President Trump could cut millions federal funding to New York City’s public housing.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which runs the country’s largest affordable housing program, is rumoured to receive at least $35 million less in funding from the federal government in the 2018 budget, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Also according to the paper's conversations with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that figure could reach up to $150 million in cuts.

The NYCHA has an overall operating budget of $3.2 billion. At least $2 billion of that comes from HUD. Approximately $17 billion needs to be spent by NYCHA in repairs to public housing buildings.

An NYCHA spokesperson told The Independent that they are “concerned about these rumoured cuts.” The agency, the Wall Street Journal reports, was ready for a 3 per cent cut in budget. However, in a letter from HUD dated 26 February - ahead of Ben Carson's appointment to lead the agency - HUD said it would cut NYCHA’s funding by 5 per cent.

The spokesperson also said “the loss of federal funds of this size would deeply impact our ability to serve 600,000 New Yorkers who rely on NYCHA.”

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There have also been nearly $8 million in cuts made to Section 8, a programme offering subsidised rent to low income people, since President Trump took office.

​Shola Olatoye, Chair and CEO of NYCHA, told Curbed the proposed cuts would “evaporate” the agency’s progress made on providing affordable housing in the city.

The New York Times reported that overall rents on one-bedroom units decreased in 2016 by 9.1 per cent, but in certain neighbourhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem rents increased up to 15 per cent.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a statement that “the White House is actively targeting our most vulnerable citizens. It’s wrong.”

Plans to bring in private investors and allow private developers to develop mixed-income housing on NYCHA land have already begun.

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