Already, the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA), which is responsible for providing affordable housing to Washington, D.C.'s low-income population, receives only 83 to 86 percent of what is required to maintain the city’s properties from the federal government. With President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts, the DCHA might receive even less than what it needs.
According to the Washington City Paper, roughly 20,000 residents in D.C. may experience worsening conditions in their public housing units if the federal government proceeds with an initial budget. The budget, which was prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), would affect over 8,000 public housing units in the District by decreasing the HUD’s overall budget next fiscal year by 14 percent.
The housing authority—which also distributes vouchers to low-income tenants, creates policy, and orders repairs—has estimated that it needs well over $1 billion to sufficiently preserve or refurbish the majority of its units. The $14.4 million in capital funds it received from HUD last fiscal year paled as a share of this demand.
The HUD budget would also decrease housing vouchers across the country by at least $300 million, according to the Washington City Paper. Meanwhile, federal capital funds for state public housing authorities would drop by approximately $1.2 billion, from $1.8 billion to $590 million.
While President Donald Trump’s administration says the numbers are provisional, the cut could affect the DCHA’s ability to commission repairs on public housing and pay off old debt.
At the time of the DCHA’s latest review, there were approximately 1,500 units in the redevelopment pipeline with a total cost of $366.7 million. While some of the roughly 2,000 senior and “mixed-population” units not in the pipeline already underwent “some level of rehabilitation,” the estimated cost of redeveloping all of the units totaled roughly $347 million. For the over 2,800 family sites not in the pipeline, the estimated cost of redevelopment totaled $628.6 million.
• D.C. Public Housing May Get Major Funding Cuts Under Trump [Washington City Paper]
• D.C. Housing Authority Capital Needs and Maintenance Review [D.C. Council]