Sequestration Report Reveals Potential HUD Cuts

The White House released the report mandated by the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 on Friday, Sept. 14. The report describes the administration’s plan for implementing the budget cuts that could be triggered if Congress doesn’t act to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion.

The deficit reduction is required by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the legislation passed last year that allowed a temporary increase in the debt ceiling to give Congress time to enact a more permanent solution. The sequestration cuts are scheduled to take place on Jan. 2, 2013, assuming Congress is unable to reach an agreement by then.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) describes sequestration as “a blunt and indiscriminate instrument” that would result in an 8.2 percent cut to “critical housing programs” for low-income families and individuals. And sequestration cuts to housing programs as estimated by OMB include:

• Public housing operating fund cut by $325 million
• Project-based rental assistance cut by $772 million
• Public housing capital fund cut by $154 million
• HOME Investment Partnership program cut by $82 million
• Housing counseling assistance cut by $4 million.

According to calculations from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, more than 185,000 households would lose their tenant-based rental assistance vouchers, 92,400 households would lose their project-based rental assistance housing, and 145,900 people would remain homeless, instead of being housed under the Homeless Assistance Grant program.

In addition, more than 140,000 currently housed families that include an elderly person or a person with a disability would receive reduced unit maintenance and lower levels of supportive services in units funded by Section 202 Housing for the Elderly or Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities.