A friend alerted me to the letter, “Increase in housing vouchers could help families afford home.” For those of us who can return home each evening to a warm, comfortable abode, the nationwide housing crunch seems remote. According to a 2018 point-in-time survey, Missoula had 319 people experiencing homelessness, the highest population among 10 Montana cities that made a count.

Research shows that when people have a safe and affordable place to live, many other problems (such as unemployment, ill health and lack of food) are lessened.

Of the nearly $275 billion within President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2018, 72% — or $200 billion — goes to the top 20% of households. But Trump’ s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal would cut HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) by an astounding $9.6 billion or 18% below the underfunded 2019 enacted levels.

Congress must now decide what parts of Trump’s FY 2020 budget proposal to reject or amend. We can call or email our members of Congress and tell them to adequately fund housing assistance.

Donna Munro,

Bremerton, Washington

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