Monday, February 26, 2018

EPA, HUD Among Agencies Facing Drastic Budget Cuts

epa hud nchh lead poisoning

Recently, the Trump administration released its proposed 2019 budget, which sparked debates on government spending. One group particularly concerned with budget cuts is the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH). NCHH is a non-profit group that advocates for improved housing conditions for undeserved communities; some of the federal agencies NCHH cooperates with are on the chopping block in the proposed budget.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) faces an $85 million cut to its requested budget. Further, the budget seeks to remove $5 million from the health homes account to redistribute to the lead account. HUD's Community Development Block Grant, which improves living conditions in undeserved areas, may be cut altogether.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may lose a third of its budget. These reductions will eliminate Indoor Air and Radon Programs, Lead and Radon Categorical Grants, and the Lead Risk Reduction Program. Budget cuts will also decrease efforts against childhood lead exposure prevention as the Children and Other Sensitive Populations Program sees a major cut.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) faces cuts to several of its important programs. HHS remediates health hazards in homes such as fire risks, carbon monoxides, and environmental toxins. HHS also provides health insurance and preventative health services to children and expecting mothers in low-income households.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can expect cuts to its Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. CDC works closely with other agencies to target environmental hazards to the public.

The proposed budget cuts worry groups like NCHH: cutting these programs significantly undermines NCHH's ability to provide resources to disadvantaged populations. Furthermore, it undermines NCHH's political capital - making it more difficult to advocate for health policies.

Congressional voting on the proposed budget has been delayed in light of opposition from both sides.

To learn about how the proposed fiscal budget will affect healthy housing and federal agencies, visit NCHH's website. Visit Zack Academy to learn more about lead poisoning prevention and environmental sciences training.

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