Delaware Public Media

Proposed federal housing cuts would leave financial burden to state

Apr 17, 2017

Federal funding for many First State housing programs could vanish if Trump’s proposed budget is passed as is.


 

It calls for a complete elimination of the Community Development Block Program (CDBG) that funds over $4 million of housing initiatives statewide.

 

Susan Eliason is Director of Housing Development for the Delaware State Housing Authority.  She says that money goes a long way.

 

“The work will still need to be done, and if the CDBG money is not there then we may have to figure out is there a way the state can help? And then that puts strain on the state," Eliason said.

 

CDBG funding helps pay for home repair of owner-occupied homes and helps pay down payments and settlement assistance for first-time homebuyers. It also provides non-housing support to non-profits through grants.

Eliason says a little more than $2 million in federal funding flows through the state housing authority to help offset home repair costs for low to moderate income residents in Kent and Sussex counties.

 

Carrie Casey directs New Castle County’s Community Development and Housing division, and says the state’s largest county also receives around $2 million in CDBG funding.

 

Trump’s budget also proposes completely eliminating the Home Investment Partnership Program – which provides special funding for the construction and preservation of affordable housing rental units.

Casey notes cuts to housing programs aren’t new; the Obama administration reduced funding for the Home Investment Partnership by 50 percent. Delaware's New Castle County program now recieves around $700,000.

 

But having that program – and CDBG – completely zeroed out, is another story, and she worries the cuts could be even deeper.

 

“It’s very vague on what would happen to the housing choice voucher program as well," Casey said.

 

There are still over 750 people on the waiting list to receive a housing voucher in New Castle County alone.

 

Eliason says Delaware’s various housing organizations are compiling a statewide assessment of what impact these cuts, if approved, would have - and will present it to General Assembly and Congressional delegation.