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Credit: Julio Sosa

President Donald Trump released a budget for fiscal year 2019, which could indirectly result in $90 million less funding towards the Philadelphia Housing Authority, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

The Trump administration indicated that the reason for the cuts is to get rid of programs that are “duplicative or have failed to demonstrate effectiveness,” the Inquirer reported. 

The new budget maintains funding allocated to reduce homelessness and increases spending for Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, which has resources to turn public housing into a public-private ownership. 

The budget, however, cuts funding for rental assistance programs that improves and modernizes public housing. 

While the plan includes a larger defense budget, various social programs' funding could be reduced. In particular, $8.8 billion would be cut from the National Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to an article from National Public Radio

According to the Inquirer, PHA currently receives 93 percent of its budget from HUD and the city of Philadelphia received more than $400 million from HUD in 2017. 

PHA spokeswoman Nichole Tillman described to the Philadelphia Inquirer how housing prices have recently surged while poverty still persists persistent. She said she believes the cuts would  lead to increased homelessness and overturn progress the PHA has made in recent years. 

Trump’s cuts could result in $80 million reductions just to public housing programs in Philadelphia, such as emergency shelter service, home repair funds, and foreclosure prevention programs.  

The Washington Post reported that the White House believed the proposal will stimulate $1.5 trillion in new spending on infrastructure nationwide. However, the Penn Wharton Budget Model team found that Trump's plan would lead at most to an additional $30 billion in spending, about 2 percent of what the White House predicted. 

 “We really tried to be generous here,” Kent Smetters, faculty director of the Penn Wharton Budget Model and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy told the Washington Post. “But what the literature says is that states will figure out how to qualify for these grants without changing their existing behavior.” 

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