How the Proposed Federal Budget Impacts Efforts to End Inequality

The Trump Administration has proposed the complete elimination of funding for 62 programs or organizations, of which 13 are of particular importance to reducing social and economic inequality in the U.S. Many of these programs are the primary source of fiscal support for community development and reinvestment activities across the country. 

The programs proposed for wholesale elimination include:

  1. Community Development Block Grant Program, Department of Housing and Urban Development ($3B) - Funds community development, primarily public infrastructure and housing.
  2. Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation ($175M) - Supports local affordable housing programs (also known as NeighborWorks America).
  3. Community Services Block Grant Program, Department of Health and Human Services ($715M)- Funds various anti-poverty programs and services, including homelessness prevention, education, youth services, health, and employment.
  4. Community Development Finance Institutions Fund, Department of the Treasury ($210M) - Supports institutions that provide access to financial products and services to residents and businesses in low-income communities.
  5. Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development ($35M) - Supports the provision of technical assistance to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Development Housing Organizations (CDHOs) from Enterprise Community Partners, LISC, and Habitat for Humanity International.
  6. Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, Department of Transportation ($499M) - Supports innovative multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects for urban and rural communities.
  7. U.S. Inter-agency Council on Homelessness ($4M) - Coordinates federal efforts to reduce homelessness.
  8. Legal Services Corporation ($366M) - Provides free legal advice on civil matters to low-income individuals.
  9. Minority Business Development Agency, Department of Commerce ($32M) - Promotes the growth of minority-owned business through programs, policy, and research.
  10. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Department of Health and Human Services ($3.4B) - Supports heating and electric bill payment for elderly and low-income individuals.
  11. Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program, Department of Education ($190M) - Supports literacy program for students with disabilities or limited English proficiency.
  12. Corporation for National and Community Service ($771M) - Supports community service programs AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps, as well as the Social Innovation Fund and Volunteer Generation Fund.
  13. Senior Community Service Employment Program, Department of Labor ($434M) - Supports job-retraining program for low-income adults age 55+.

The Trump Administration proposes re-allocating the vast majority of these funds to the Department of Defense. However, this administration is not the first to have proposed budget cuts for these entities or attributed those budget cuts to organization inefficiency and ineffectiveness. 

For example, President Obama first proposed the Community Services Block Grant program be cut in half in 2011 by $350M and the funding be re-allocated to a more competitive grant program. However, Congress rejected his proposals not only that year, but again in 2012 and 2013. A 2012 study commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services had difficulty determining effectiveness and efficiency for the human service organizations that this grant program supports.

Your federal representatives in Congress ultimately determine the U.S. Federal Budget. Advocate for your interests by contacting them via phone, mail, or social media.  Learn who your representatives are and more about the federal budget at the National Priorities Project.

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