If President Trump’s proposed federal budget is enacted, more than 13,000 low-income Texas households would be cut from housing assistance and put at risk of homelessness – including nearly 1,000 in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties.

The Trump Administration’s 2018 budget calls for severe cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including to the funding for Housing Choice Vouchers, which low-income households use to pay their rent. Most households using vouchers earn less than 30 percent of their area’s median income or less than $10,633 per year in Hidalgo County according to 2015 statistics. Many voucher holders are seniors or people with disabilities living on fixed incomes. For many, housing vouchers are the only way to afford a place to live.

Yet the Trump budget would eliminate voucher funding for hundreds of such households in the Valley, according to research by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). CBPP estimates that the cuts would reduce the number of vouchers provided by the following housing authorities:

Housing Authority Vouchers Cut
Brownsville 193
McAllen 116
Cameron County 89
Edinburg 76
Pharr 74
Harlingen 72
Hidalgo County 64
Mission 64
Weslaco 43
San Benito 30
Mercedes 26
Donna 23
Alamo 11
Elsa 11
La Joya 11
San Juan 11
Los Fresnos 8
Port Isabel 8
Willacy County 5
Edcouch 4
Hidalgo 4

In total, the Trump budget would end voucher assistance for 941 households in the three-county area. 

Trump wants to spend billions on a border wall but won’t help the neediest families stay off the street. Trump’s plans will do even more harm to communities that already suffer from a lack of affordable housing and housing assistance. The Valley needs real investment in housing and community services, not federal threats to the safety and security of residents.

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Josué Ramírez is the Rio Grande Valley co-director for Texas Low Income Housing Information Service and a Neta content creator.