The Trump administration’s latest federal budget blueprint proposes less spending for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Advocacy group Empower Missouri estimates there will be at least $7.4 billion cuts in federal investments for housing for low-income people.
That concerns supporters of affordable housing and community development in Missouri. Jeanette Mott Oxford, executive director of Empower Missouri, said she finds the effects from the suggested budget on Missouri’s low-income housing options worrisome.
“I would predict that we might lose some hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 10 years if this goes through in something close to the form that’s being put forward,” she said.
Empower Missouri and the Salvation Army invited local and state officials to tour the Salvation Army Residence building in downtown St. Louis on Friday to discuss the budget proposal.
St. Louis Alderwoman Marlene Davis, 19th Ward, attended the event and proposed finding alternatives to low-cost housing.
“We were finally getting in a place where we are actually making a difference and if we’re cut back at any point, I think it will be devastating,” she said.
Salvation Army representative Nicole McKoy said, for now, the goal is to preserve the services they already offer — like vouchers that are subsidized by federal investments.
“This isn't just about the brick and mortar. It’s not just about low-income housing tax credits,” McKoy said. “We’re talking about lost opportunities for people to live in high-opportunity areas ... opportunities for people to stabilize themselves and their families.”
The Salvation Army Residence buildings in downtown St. Louis serve homeless veterans as well as people with special needs and college students coming out of foster care systems.
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