Issue: The President’s 2008 budget includes an 8 percent reduction in HUD funding from what are likely to be FY07 levels. It also makes tax cuts totaling more than $3.4 trillion in lost revenue between 2008 and 2017 permanent.
Background: In Seattle, the housing wage (what’s needed to afford an average priced two-bedroom apartment) is well over $16 an hour. More than 2,000 people were found surviving outdoors during the recent One Night Count. Our local and state governments are committed to ending homelessness and addressing the affordable housing crisis, but local governments can’t replace the federal losses.
In addition to the 40,000 – 80,000 housing vouchers that will be lost nationwide, the President cuts $700 from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program— a program that funds a whole range of human needs for low-income people. According to the Coalition for Human Need, here’s just some of what is at stake:
Fewer children will have access to health insurance: The proposal would reduce federal funds to states under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for children whose families have income above 200 percent of the federal poverty line ($35,000 for a family of three.)
Large Medicaid cuts likely to result in reduction or loss of health care for low-income people: Medicaid would be cut $13 billion over 5 years through legislative proposals, plus another $12.7 billion in administrative actions not requiring legislation.
Fewer households will receive help for high-energy costs: The National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association estimates that the President’s budget will force programs to eliminate assistance to 1 million households.
Fewer working families will get childcare and Head Start help: 200,000 fewer children will receive child care assistance in FY 2008 compared to the numbers served in FY 2006. Fewer low-income working families will receive Food Stamps: The Bush budget will deny Food Stamps to about 300,000 low-income working families, a loss of more than $600 million over 5 years.
Fewer social and community services available for families, senior citizens, and children: The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) provides a large range of services for low-income people, including meals on wheels, child care, services for senior citizens, family counseling, etc. After years of flat funding at $1.7 billion, the President’s budget would cut it by $500 million, a massive cut.
Less Housing for Older Americans and people with disabilities: The Administration proposes to slash funding for housing for low-income seniors by nearly one –quarter. The program providing housing for people with disabilities is cut from $231 million in FY 2006 to $125 million in FY 2008.
Action: Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and tell them to reject the President’s cuts to housing vouchers, CDBG, and other programs that meet people’s human needs.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, (206) 220-6400; cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html
Sen. Patty Murray, (206) 553-5545 ; murray.senate.gov/email/index.cfm
Rep. Jim McDermott, (206) 553-7170; www.house.gov/mcdermott
For copy of actual issue, go to https://www.realchangenews.org/2007/03/14/mar-14-2007-entire-issue