County Public Housing Chief Sees Trump Budget As ‘Doomsday Scenario’

CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of the Housing Authority of Cook County has warned suburban mayors of “a doomsday scenario for affordable housing” due to President Donald Trump’s federal budget plan.

Trump’s proposed budget would slash public housing funds by $2 billion, or about 30 percent.

Rich Monocchio, executive director of the Housing Authority of Cook County said the budget proposal has created “a lot of angst” in the suburbs, where the authority provides public housing and vouchers for rental assistance.

“It really is a doomsday scenario for affordable housing,” Monocchio said of the president’s proposed budget.

Of the 17,000 families who get help from the housing authority, about 2,000 live in HACC-owned buildings. The rest receive housing vouchers that average $700 a month to go toward rent on the open market.

Monocchio told suburban mayors on Tuesday his agency would see an $8 million cut from the federal government, at minimum, under Trump’s plan. That would mean 800 fewer families would get help paying for homes.

“That means homeless people aren’t going to get housed, people leaving nursing homes aren’t going to get housed, people with special needs aren’t going to get housed,” he said.

Monocchio said the remaining families who do get help could see their rents increase, or be forced to move to smaller apartments.

“Folks are going to have to pay more rent, and maybe not be able to move to communities where they want to move,” he said.

Approximately 6,000 families are on a waiting list for help right now.

Monnochio said families that get help from the Housing Authority are required to pay 30% of their incomes for rent.

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