Fulop: Trump’s proposed budget would cost Jersey City $9.6M in HUD funding

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop says that President Donald Trump’s (R) proposed $1.1 trillion budget would cost the city $9.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Steven Fulop

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“With these budget cuts, the President is turning the back the clock and reversing years and years of progress that has been made in cities like Jersey City, Newark and across the country,” Fulop said in a statement.

“He is cutting programs we know are having a positive impact in urban areas, whether by turning a vacant building into a home or providing job training for the unemployed. These are investments in communities and investments in people.”

The mayor also called the proposal “draconian” and overlooks the positive impact HUD has in urban communities.

The Trump administration released a $1.1 trillion budget earlier today, which completely eliminates the decades-old Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

According to Fulop’s office, this program has played a pivotal role in providing critical social services like after-school programming, services for the homeless, Meals on Wheels, and job training in Jersey City, to name a few.

Additionally, CDBG funding has also been vital in supporting non-profits such as New City Kids, the Urban League, Garden State Episcopal CDC, and Women Rising,

Since 2010, Jersey City has received $40.7 million in CDBG funding and $11.9 million in federal HOME funding. In 2016 alone, Jersey City received $9.6 million in HUD entitlement grants, which includes $5.4 million for the CDBG program, the mayor’s office said.

“These budget cuts take direct aim at our cities, which are predominantly lower-income and minority communities, and there is no way that fact can be ignored,” added Fulop.

There is a slight discrepancy in the 2016 figures according to an Open Public Records Act request filed by Hudson County View seeking all federal funding monies allocated to last year’s budget.

The response indicates that the city received $10,585,756 from five separate HUD programs in 2016.

A city spokeswoman did not respond when asked why a $933,576 Community Services Block Grant was not taken into consideration for a media release.

Hudson County View requested the information to take a closer look at how much funding the city could lose if Trump decided to withdraw federal funding from sanctuary cities.

Furthermore, the proposed Trump budget contains significant cuts to public housing, eliminating the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Choice Neighborhoods program and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program/

The Jersey City Housing Authority, which provides housing to nearly 15,000 residents at public housing sites and through the voucher program, receives over $50 million in annual HUD funding for operating expenses at public housing properties, for capital improvements at public housing sites and for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program, officials said.

“HUD has long been a source of opportunity for communities and these cuts impact the neediest of our residents, including seniors and the disabled. We hope that Republicans in Congress reject this budget and recognize the harm it poses to not only cities, but the entire nation,” Fulop concluded.