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Channel3000logoSquareMADISON, Wis – Project Home and other assistance organizations that rely on federal funding would see a significant impact under President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget.

Programs under the Department of Health and Human Services and low-income home energy assistance programs would be cut if Congress adopts the budget.

Those who are benefited by the services, including Joyce Wallace, say the recommendations are not just numbers, but will negatively impact their lives.

“It’s really important for people who are low income and they need help like this; who else can they call?” Wallace said.

After two strokes, Wallace needs help walking and her home has to be ADA accessible.

“I really couldn’t go in or out of the house…it was too hard,” she said.

Stairs made it hard for her to get into her house. Project Home installed an outdoor ramp and handlebars in her bathroom to help her get around. The organization helps  around 600 low-income families a year with home improvements with little or no cost to homeowners. Six out of around a dozen of Project Home’s programs rely on federal funding.

“Most of us don’t have to worry about doing home repairs versus having to buy food or the necessities of life but there is a fair amount of people even in Dane County that have to make tough choices in that regard and we are one of the few outlets they have for that,” said Erik Longreen, program manager.

The budget  would cut or eliminate funding for dozens of agencies and programs, including to the Community Development Block Grant and other services under the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“There is no question that there are tough budget choices ahead for everybody. It’s just unnerving that we are cutting out the lowest segment of our society,” he said.

The proposed cut come at too high a cost, according to Wallace.

A lot of people — their house would fall apart cause they didn’t have the help. We need those people to help us,” she said.

Project Home works in both Dane and Green counties. Not all of their programs would be affected if the budget were to pass. But Longreen said the cuts would drastically affect how they serve the community.

Written by Velena Jones

Velena Jones

Velena Jones is a news reporter at WISC-TV in Madison.

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