Federal Budget Cuts Will Harm Housing Programs for Poor Americans

By: Andrea Petrou
Blog Category: Housing/Entitlement Programs

The Budget Control Act, a law passed in 2011, created $85 billion dollars in automatic budget reductions.  When the mandatory budget cut begins to take effect, agencies and programs that help the poor will suffer as a result. As agencies begin to administer the appropriate funds and carry out the respective cuts, aid will be denied to many low-income families that are in dire need of this extra money.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that there will be roughly about 125,000 individuals and families that will risk losing their housing and about 100,000 homeless will be removed from homeless shelters. Statistics on average annual incomes of those with public housing are alarming.  The average annual income of a public housing resident in Washington is a mere $12,911.

Sheila Crowley, the President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, stated, “anything you take out of HUD is going to reduce services and cut programs.” In addition, to the housing programs that will suffer the loss, other programs such as job training for the unemployed, will also suffer harsh consequences.   Although these budget cuts are in their beginning stages, the country will have to wait to see the negative effects on housing for the poor. However, it is alarming that those who will suffer are those who need the help the most, especially those who make insufficient annual incomes.


The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.


Annie Lowrey, As Automatic Budget Cuts Go Into Effect, Poor May Be Hit Particularly Hard. N.Y.Times, March 3, 2013, at A13, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/us/politics/poor-face-most-pain-as-automatic-budget-cuts-take-effect.html?ref=us&_r=1&

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