by Patricia Fasen, Berkshire Hathaway Realtor
Last month I wrote about the generous down payment assistance program offered by local and state governments. Under the new administration these grants are now in jeopardy of being dismantled.
The Trump administration has released the proposed 2018 budget, and it seeks to provide one of the largest increases in defense spending, without increasing the national debt.
Of the budget cuts proposed, 13.2 percent will come from the Housing and Urban Development.
Budget cuts across various government departments will be the source of funding for the planned increase in defense spending, so this budget doesn’t reduce overall government spending but instead shifts money to defense from other areas of the government.
The proposed budget would add $20 million for the mitigation of lead-based paint and other hazards in low-income homes, bringing the total budget for the program to $130 million. It would also provide more than $35 billion for HUD’s rental assistance program and support “homeownership through provision of Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance programs,” according to the document.
The budget would eliminate HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the largest federal block grant to state and local governments that is “designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households,” according to HUD.
J. René Ward, a broker-owner based in Texas, said she’s concerned that the cuts could disproportionately impact underserved minority communities in this country.
“These programs assist homeowners become part of the American Dream through education, down payment assistance and grants,” Ward said. “Are we perpetuating a larger population of renters? Are the ‘haves’ taking away money and financially benefiting from the ‘have nots’ by forcing them to rent?