President Trump's proposed budget for 2018 is designed to save money by eliminating 66 programs that many Americans depend on. The Department of Housing and Urban Development will take a massive hit, losing over $4 billion. The Trump budget wipes out a variety of HUD programs used by non-profit organizations that serve poor and low-income Americans, including rural Americans.

Trump budget to make housing harder to get

SHOP provides grants for housing and infrastructure improvement.

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The funds are meant to be spent primarily on building, repair, and land purchases. non-profit organizations at the national or regional level can be eligible for these grants, and $15,000 is the average amount available per unit. $15,000 is not a lot of money when it comes to home procurement or infrastructure development, so most of the time organizations gaining SHOP grants find additional funding to cover costs, funding that comes from regional and other sources. Many regulations govern what SHOP funds can be spent on. Management and administration costs cannot exceed 20% of the SHOP grant, for example.

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Low-income Americans benefit the most from SHOP grants

Hard-working Americans benefit from SHOP grants. The Trump budget seeks to eliminate this help. If you think you might benefit from any of the following non-profit organizations in 2018, you may want to make new plans.

Community Frameworks (CF) -- This non-profit organization serves low-income Americans in Oregon, Montana, Washington and Idaho.

Their goal is to make infrastructure improvements and provide energy efficient housing. CF supports the construction of green housing, especially housing that qualifies for Energy Star ratings.

Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) -- Most low-income Americans are familiar with the good work done by Habitat for Humanity. HFHI uses SHOP grants to help build energy efficient and Energy Star compliant homes in rural, metropolitan, and urban communities.

These dwellings are designed to place less of a load on the electrical grid and infrastructure by using the latest energy-saving appliances.

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) -- This flexible, non-profit organization supports the construction of green and energy efficient homes by purchasing land and building necessary support infrastructure. The HAC serves rural Americans across the nation.

Tierra del Sol Housing Corporation -- This agency represents the Western States Housing Consortium or WSHC.

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Like the other organizations that use SHOP grants, the WSHC helps support the construction of affordable homes by making necessary infrastructure construction or improvements. The majority of units constructed meet Energy Star, National Green Building or Enterprise requirements.

Many benefited from SHOP grants in 2016

The impact of the SHOP program can be felt across the United States. In 2016 alone, it provided a minimum of 539 construction units and fostered the construction of hundreds of Green and energy efficient homes, mostly for low-income Americans.

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Infrastructure improvements facilitated by SHOP grants benefit every American, of course, and are not dedicated or limited to single dwellings.

As an American I can not see how eliminating this small portion of HUD can benefit us as a nation. I want to save money, I want the nation to work and benefit every American, regardless of wealth, but I can't see how cutting energy efficient infrastructure construction and improvement makes America great again. I'm not sure how eliminating SHOP grants does much to pave our way to a brighter, healthier, and more efficient future.

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