Housing

Why Trump could bring back Reagan-era homelessness to the US

200,000 Americans could face immediate risk of eviction and homelessness, housing experts have warned

His tweets, quick temper and possible ties to Russia continue to suck up all the attention.

But US housing experts have warned that President Donald Trump’s budget cuts could cause a huge spike in homelessness – leaving people on streets in numbers not seen since the Reagan era.

The Trump administration has proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of 13%, a reduction of $6.2 billion. The budget plan would also completely wipe out the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) – the body that coordinates efforts to tackle the problem.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that 200,000 Americans are at immediate risk of eviction and homelessness.

This budget would drive up homelessness for veterans, families and young people

“Trump’s proposed budget would result in the most severe cut to HUD since President Reagan dramatically reduced funding in the early 1980s,” said coalition president Diane Yentel.

“Reagan’s deep spending cuts ushered in a new age of homelessness, with a dramatic increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets, in cars, and in shelters.”

Some fear steady progress made on housing homeless veterans will now be lost. Barbara Poppe, who led the USICH homelessness agency under President Obama until 2014, said the agency had cut veteran homelessness rates by nearly half during Obama’s time.

Obama’s former HUD secretary Julián Castro told the CityLab website that Trump’s budget “deserves an F… this budget would drive up homelessness for veterans, families and young people. Congress should reject it.”

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