Rent for NYCHA tenants could increase under proposed cuts to public housing in Trump budget

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump's $4.7 trillion budget proposal — announced Monday — includes billions in cuts to public housing and a plan for increased tenant rent contributions for those able to work.

New York City Housing Authority residents, as tenants in the country's largest public-housing system, would be hurt by the change, NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia said

"Once again, President Trump has demonstrated his intention to walk away from the federal government’s responsibility to support public housing," Garcia said. "We have fought these draconian cuts before, with support from Senator Schumer and our Congressional delegation and we will fight them again. We will not stand by as the federal government tries to abandon the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who rely on this funding."

Mayor Bill de Blasio also shot down the proposal.

"While we’re fighting to turn public housing around, @realDonaldTrump just proposed a budget that would hike rents and gut repair funding for 400,000 New Yorkers living in @NYCHA," he tweeted. "We can’t — and WON'T — let this happen."

Trump's budget calls for a 16.4 percent cut in funds for public housing. It actually increases the amount allocated to rental assistance, but those able to work — not including elderly and disabled households — will have "increased tenant rent contributions," per the guidelines. The budget also calls for reduced frequency of income recertifications.

Just weeks ago Sen. Chuck Schumer called for more funding for NYCHA. But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson lauded the budget.

“This Budget advances our key priorities, including empowering HUD-assisted families to achieve self-sufficiency,” he said in a staement.  “For generations, the idea of the Federal Government providing housing assistance meant only one thing—helping to pay the rent so families can have a roof over their heads. But we must also think about how we can help families to access financial programs, educational opportunities, and higher paying jobs. In short, we must think beyond investing in bricks and mortar, and think about investing in people.”

Lynne Patton, who heads up the regional HUD office and has been living in NYCHA buildings for the past few weeks, called the agency wasteful and said they have misappropriated money on union "on union overtime instead of actual resident repairs.”

She also noted the proposed budget doesn't matter much; she said the budget that eventually gets signed is what's important.

“I’ve only been in politics for two years, yet even I know that it’s not uncommon for Presidents on both sides of the aisle to propose cuts in various programs to leverage funding for others," she said. "The only budget that matters is the final one signed by a sitting President.  And last year, Trump signed a budget that increased funding to public housing by up to 52 percent over the last Administration. "

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