Philly Congressional Delegation, Philly Mayor and City Councilmembers Join Together at Project HOME to Fight Proposed Trump Budget Cuts

April 9, 2018
Press Release

Today, Congressman Bob Brady (PA-01), Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02), Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell and Sister Mary Scullion joined together at Project HOME’s Ruth Williams House at the Gene & Marlene Epstein Building, to highlight the need for federal funding to support critical safety net programs including: affordable housing, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and education programs that are under attack in the Trump budget.

The city of Philadelphia receives critical funding from the federal government to help fight poverty and stabilize neighborhoods. However, even with this vital funding many key investments relied upon by our city still face a real threat under the Trump Administration. 

The elected officials gathered at Project HOME’s Ruth Williams House at the Gene & Marlene Epstein Building; a new affordable housing development that is home to 88 affordable units for homeless residents and residents who are at risk of becoming homeless in our city. The project received approximately $36 million in federal funds.

“It is deeply saddening that ever since President Trump has been in office, he has continually attacked critical housing programs that millions of Americans depend on nationwide to simply achieve the American dream of owning a home. This is reflected in his FY 19 budget outline, which would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, as well as other key housing and community development programs.  The Trump budget would also shockingly eliminate funding to maintain and rehab public housing – a critical lifeline for thousands of families and individuals in our city.  These important and critical programs have created quality jobs, provided safe, affordable housing for our residents, and has improved our city overall. Gutting these programs is harmful, short sighted, and reckless. I have been a proud supporter of these programs throughout my time in Congress and will continue to fight to ensure they are robustly funded,” Congressman Bob Brady said.

“The Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have sustained an all-out assault on the middle class, and they are showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. They robbed working families in order to enrich corporations, hedge funds, and the wealthiest 1% when they jammed through the GOP Tax Scam – which gave 83% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% – while at the same time gutting investments in education and our children’s futures. Thankfully, in the omnibus appropriations bill Congress just passed, Democrats secured key wins for education in the negotiations despite Republican opposition, like funding boosts for Title One, Head Start, Care Development Block Grants, and Pell Grants. However, our fight to protect these critical investments and supports for students and families continues each day between congressional Republicans’ current efforts to jam through their disastrous higher education reauthorization bill, and the president’s FY19 budget proposal,” Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, a member of the House Committee on the Budget said.  

“Philadelphians have ‘A Lot to Lose’ under the Trump Administration. At a time when our cities are already pressed for resources and funding we should be in the business of ‘doing no harm’ and it is more than evident that the president and his administration seek to do just the opposite. From the continued attacks on SNAP, affordable housing, education and so much more we cannot sit on the sidelines as the president and his administration seek to undo all of the progress we have made as a city. I am so proud to stand with my colleagues on the state and federal level and advocates in our city who are fighting day in and day out to build a stronger Philadelphia block by block,” Congressman Dwight Evans said.

“Once again, we’re forced to stand up to this President because of his heartless budget that hurts families. The impact of reduced federal support for affordable housing, SNAP benefits and education programs would have a dramatic, negative impact here in Philadelphia. Trump proposes billions in cuts to SNAP benefits over the next decade. Allowing struggling families to go hungry certainly won’t make America great again. While the President disinvests in our nation’s schools, my budget proposal calls for additional resources for the School District so that we can build upon our students' recent progress. Here in Philadelphia, we continue to step up where the federal government has let us down,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.

“Whether it’s taxpayer-funded private jet travel or motorcade escorts to expensive restaurants, this presidential administration has continually favored the wealthy and privileged over the majority of Americans who struggle with basic living expenses such as food and housing. Such brutishness cannot be justified by any legitimate economic theory, and I am grateful for a congressional delegation that stands up for Philadelphians and vulnerable people each and every day. Thanks to a growing local economy and sound financial planning, we in City government have managed to blunt the impact of the worst budget and policy decisions from Washington. But this dynamic simply is not sustainable. We will need continued vigilance and advocacy from all of our partners in the fight against poverty to keep children, seniors, veterans, and disabled people healthy and safe,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. 

“We will not sit idly as other forces disassemble the safety nets that were so carefully constructed in our fight for equal access to housing, education and food stability for all.  Affordable housing is one of the most important issues of our time.  Anti-poverty advocates from Congress, City government and those working with low-income people can only come up with positive ways to ameliorate these situations.  I look forward to being part of the discussion," Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell said.

“In this environment of out-of-reach housing costs and hardening attitudes, we must all come together to create the solutions. The federal government is a critical partner in this effort to end and prevent poverty and homelessness across America,” Sister Mary Scullion, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Project HOME said.

“ For approximately 10 years we have been seeking a 50% increase in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to provide affordable housing for those in need. LIHTC is one of the best examples of a working public/private partnership. The recent tax bill provided a temporary (4 year) increase of 12.5%, the demand continues to grow, particularly for our most vulnerable population. Resources for affordable housing need to increase, and be permanent,” Brian Hudson, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) said.

 

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Media Contact: Becca Brukman, 202-225-4001, Becca.Brukman@mail.house.gov