Trump Budget Slated to "Increase Homelessness and Hardship in Every State" and What You Can Do About It
Attention Housing & Homelessness Advocates!
The Trump Administration released its 2018 Budget Proposal at the end of last month, and it includes shockingly deep cuts to numerous major public programs that help millions of struggling families pay for food, healthcare, housing, and more, all while providing massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. Learn more about how the Trump Budget would impact American families here.
Trump’s Budget will “Decimate” Public Programs
The budget release has spurred a massive response and backlash from many research and policy institutions, organizational leaders in the human services sector, as well as concerned citizens. Here we share recaps from two important advocacy Webinars presented on the Trump Budget, including action items that you and your organization can take TODAY to help preserve the basic human rights and needs of individuals and families here in Washtenaw County.
Webinar 1 Recap: Trump’s Budget NOT “Dead On Arrival"
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Coalition on Human Needs, and Center for American Progress recently co-sponsored a Webinar outlining tips, tactics, and various actions concerned citizens and organizations can take to help protect our country’s most vulnerable community members from the proposed Trump Budget cuts.
Contrary to popular rhetoric, Trump’s budget is not necessarily “dead on arrival,” rather many of the basic components are the same as past Republican house budgets. The proposed budget has massive implications on the final budget that will ultimately come to pass. Therefore, we must act now to stop the Trump Budget from becoming reality.
Start Here: Messaging Matters
Consider the following tips when communicating about the Trump Budget:
Oppose and Propose: Always present a strong alternative or “big idea” for what your organization WILL DO to help provide families’ access to basic living standards.
Highlight Broken Promises: The Trump campaign vowed to help poor and working class people, yet in his budget he does exactly the opposite. Show whose side Trump is really on.
Avoid Charity Talk: Speak TO people, not ABOUT people. Explain in plain terms how the Trump Budget will impact “you and your family.”
Use “Kitchen Table” Terms: Avoid jargon, acronyms, program names, etc. that may be unfamiliar to some people. Rather, discuss “programs that enable families to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, etc.”
Name Villains and Tradeoffs: Don’t shy away from language that will help move people from disbelief, to anger/outrange, to action, for example “the Trump Budget slashes affordable housing to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.”
Show Who is Most Impacted: Reveal how vulnerable groups (people with disabilities, children, etc.) will be impacted by cuts to Medicaid, food, etc.
Other Ways to Take Action
Sign and Share this Letter to Congress on behalf of yourself and/or the organization you represent asking Congress to pass a fair 2018 budget that protects the policies and programs people rely on.
Join the Hands Off Campaign, a national campaign dedicated to preventing cuts to basic living programs such as affordable housing, Medicaid, disability, benefits, nutrition assistance, and environmental protections.
Share this Collection of CBPP Graphics with your followers and on social media to help persuade them to take action.
Consider Ideas for Alternative Program Suggestions when countering Trump’s budget cuts. Remember to always “Oppose and Propose.”
Webinar 2 Recap: Trump Budget Slashes Funding for Housing & Homeless Assistance Programs
The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) hosted a Webinar on the impact of the President’s Budget on housing and homelessness programs and policies. According to CBPP, the Trump Budget would increase homelessness and hardship in every state.
NAEH outlined some key policy priorities that are facing massive cuts under the Trump Budget, including:
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants is the federal governments largest homeless assistance program. According to NAEH, the Trump Budget proposes to cut the program by $133 million, resulting in an estimated 25,000-person increase in homelessness in FY 2018.
The Medicaid Expansion increased health care coverage to individuals and families living in extreme poverty and helps pay for supportive housing services. According to NAEH, together the Trump Budget cuts to Medicaid and the American Health Care Act (if passed) would cut Medicaid spending in half by 2027, with at least 14 million people feeling the impact immediately.
Affordable Housing programs are critical to homelessness prevention. The Trump Budget proposes to downsize Section 8 by ~250,000, an unprecedented move that would - for the first time ever - take housing vouchers away from people currently using them and make them homeless. The proposed budget also eliminates the National Housing Trust Fund and severely cuts public housing.
We must act NOW to save the programs that assist struggling individuals and families facing homelessness and housing affordability issues. Please consider signing the following petitions, and ask the organizations you are part of - as well as your friends and families - to do the same.
Take Action Today, by:
Calling and emailing members of Congress asking them to reject the President’s budget cuts and increase funding for McKinney-Vento;
Asking your Senators to protect the Medicaid expansion and reject the House-passed American Health Care Act that would repeal the Affordable Care Act;
Urging Congress to increase funding for affordable housing by lifting spending caps for affordable housing, community development, and transportation programs receive the highest allocation of discretionary funds possible; and
Asking Congress to protect and expand the National Housing Trust Fund that helps build and preserve housing that is affordable for people with the lowest incomes.
Questions/comments? Contact WHA here.