Photos: 8 Arrested At Downtown Protest Against Trump's Proposed HUD Cuts

By Chicagoist_Guest in News on Mar 22, 2017 3:00PM


By Tyler LaRiviere

Eight people were arrested on Tuesday during the eighth #ResistTrumpTuesday protest, which focused on President Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Trump's budget plan for the fiscal year 2018 calls for a nearly $54 billion in additional defense spending while shortchanging social programs and departments like HUD by more than 13 percent. According to activists, cuts especially to HUD mirror conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation's "Blueprint for Reform" that calls for the ending of HUD in 10 years.

The current proposed cuts to HUD could have devastating consequences for those living in Illinois, according to organizers. "For us here in Illinois it means less direct rental assistance payments including section 8 housing, housing vouchers for homeless veterans would be cut by at least $300 million," said one organizer. "Proposed cuts to the section 202 program which house low-income senior citizens by 10% would cause 1500 very low-income elderly households to lose their homes."

Other housing programs that would be affected include Deborah's Place here in Chicago, which specializes in providing interim housing to homeless women. According to Audrey Thomas, CEO of Deborah's Place, as many as 50 women a year in Chicago would have to go without the organization's resources if the proposed budget cuts were to pass.

Those who use HUD services aren't the only people who would be affected by the proposed cuts. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that the budget cuts would lead to 120 thousand fewer jobs nationwide that are supported through the HUD investment.

Around 100 activists marched to the Chicago headquarters of HUD, at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building, where they placed dozens of large sticky notes that read "We Love HUD" on the glass of the building. They then marched to 135 S. LaSalle St., where the offices of Anthony Saliba, a board of trustee on the Heritage Foundation, are located. Eight activists then blocked the doors to the building on the LaSalle Street side until police arrested them. Eight people, men and women between the ages of 26 and 78, were charged with criminal trespass to land, according to Chicago police.