Correlating with the affordability crisis is deficient supply of affordable housing in low-income urban centers. For the poor, there is a fundamental breakdown in needs versus availability. Low-income resident populations face a shortage of affordable housing, so there is a clear need for increased affordable residential units and supply response strategies to offset artificial housing market price increases through legislation (O’Reagan 2016). Unfortunately, the remaining lands to expand on or revitalize in many of these urban regions tend to prioritize the desires of the new residents.
The argument here is that HUD is best suited to address these problems across the board because of the federal resources at their disposal.
Those in support of fund increases, look to the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program as a privately funded means to preserve dilapidated public housing units. Annually, over 10,000 public housing buildings are destroyed due to negligence and failing budgets (O’Regan 2016). In 2016, RAD invested $2 billion from private funds to move 30,000 public housing units to multi-year project-based contracts under Section 8 rules (O’Regan 2016).
Under Section 8, project-based units are required to be renewed in order to sustain affordable housing to low-income populations (O’Regan 2016). In the end, the RAD program is supported for its success in swiftly preserving affordable housing without adversely impacting federal funds.
Housing Choice Vouchers are the federal government’s largest programs capable of combating gentrification and is seen as a flexible means for ensuring the growth of minority populations in gentrifying areas (Bell and Rice 2018). Benefits of this program have been illustrated through minority children.
For example, when black households utilize vouchers their youth are ‘twice as likely to grow up…in low poverty neighborhoods and are less likely to grow up in extremely poor neighborhoods’ (Bell and Rice 2018). As effective as HCVs can be, there is still room for growth with more funding. Needs for higher quality, and success enabling neighborhood environments is essentially to the growth of minorities in and outside of shifting urban areas.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that poor minority children were far less likely to live in extreme-poverty ridden neighborhoods, 40 percent of residents are considered poor (Bell and Rice 2018). Unfortunately showcases of success are overshadowed by inadequacies of access and lack of access for poor minority individuals (Bell and Rice 2018). Although the effectiveness of HCV varies, it showcases potential in increasing the quality of living for low-income minorities. Under the Fair Housing Act, HUD has the discretion to withhold funds from state and local governments if they show signs of housing discrimination (HUD 2018). Lastly, O’Regan suggested the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Fund (AFFH) which would increase HUD’s ability to oversee the allocation of funds to states under HUD contracts (2016). Support of AFFH directly connects the disenfranchisement of minorities to economic opportunity. Stricter oversight, as a result of increased administrative funds, could translate to greater access to housing for minorities.
Budget increase supporters raised opposition to Trump’s proposal because of its seemingly predatory practices. The major contention is that Trump’s proposal would provide too much discretion to state agencies and private market owners over subsidized housing (Fischer 2018c). Consequently, HUD would lose administrative control of state and local governments, limiting access to HUD programs for the poorest individuals. Furthermore, the budget cuts for HUD would prevent the department from being able to effect change in low-income urban areas (Fischer 2018d). Will Fischer, senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, described that rental calculations would vary based on household composition and households would only be considered elderly or disabled if all residents were over the age 65 or suffered a disability, under Trump’s previously proposed budget (Fischer 2018e). Additionally, minimum rent increases of about $100 dollars monthly would adversely affect the potential for the poor to afford essential goods (Fischer 2018e).