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Budget cuts to housing have local effect
l to r: Robb Wallace, Sue Jones, Stormie, Kim Ferguson, Mayor Kay Ferguson, Christina Thomas, Baby Dayshia, Melissa Griffith and Mary Potter

Cuts to housing funds in the budget submitted by the Trump administration to Congress will have an effect on West Kentuckians.

Among the cuts is a reduction in funds to Housing and Urban Development. That agency, led by Dr. Ben Carson, provides funds for low income and senior housing. Proposed cuts to HUD are:

  • Cutting public housing capital fund by 32%;
  • Cutting $600,000 from public housing fund;
  • Reducing disabled housing programs by 29% - $29 million dollars
  • Reducing Native American block grants by $150 million - 20%
  • Eliminating the $3 billion Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Lowering direct rental assistance under Section 8 Housing and homeless veterans vouchers by $300 million.
  • HUD salaries and administrative expenses will be reduced by 5%.

Locally, Columbus in Hickman County and Arlington in Carlisle County received housing grants to rebuild and repair low income housing. Homes deemed beyond repair were replaced. Other residents will have energy efficient windows, siding, and other improvements to existing homes.

The Columbus City Council toured the last house built under the program on Monday night. Mayor Kay Ferguson symbolically presented Christina Thomas with the key to her new home. Homeowner Christina Thomas and her four children, ages 10 months to 16 years, now have a beautiful four bedroom energy efficient home. Her house will be the last built if HUD money disappears.

Author's disclosure: Part of my day job is Columbus' city attorney.

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