advocates for the poor slammed President Donald Trump’s first budget that proposes deep cuts to the budget of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the total
elimination of several longstanding programs that support neighborhood
stabilization and housing assistance.
Reaction from the mortgage industry, however, was
subdued after the White House released a blueprint of its budget
priorities on Thursday.
budget did not address the funding level for several agencies that directly impact the mortgage industry, such as the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
“It’s vital to understand that today’s Budget Blueprint is as much a political statement of priorities as it is a governing document, and that Congress is unlikely to go along with many of its more stringent spending reductions,” said Mortgage Bankers Association President David Stevens. Most other major trade groups did not react to the budget.
noted that the cuts to the federal agencies were significant and create "a
difficult road ahead for many federal programs,” but that the process will be drawn
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have expressed reservations or outright
opposition to many of its recommendations,” Stevens said.
Housing advocacy groups,
however, expressed outrage at the proposed cuts to HUD, which oversees the FHA and its loan-guarantee program.
The budget proposes
billion from agency's budget, a decrease of 13.2 percent over the fiscal 2017
level. Among the casualties would be HUD’s
longest continuously running program, the Community Development Block Grant program that has provided funding to states since 1974 to develop programs to
stabilize neighborhoods. Trump proposes to eliminate the program entirely at a savings of $3 billion annually.
Other programs to be axed include the HOME
Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods and the Self-Help Homeownership
“At a time when the
housing crisis has reached historic heights and the lowest-income people suffer
the most severe impacts, proposals to slash HUD funding are unconscionable and
unacceptable,” said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing
“These cuts could put more than 200,000
families and seniors at immediate risk of eviction and homelessness and will
starve local communities of the funding they need to build and repair
affordable homes and revitalize distressed communities,” she said.