President Trump has proposed a new Federal budget that has cut out programs and services that are essential for the people of Appalachia to transition out of years of persistent poverty and move into economic prosperity.

In the budget proposal,  President Trump states that these cuts, and the increased $54 billion funding to the defense budget, are to help ensure the security of the American people and to align to the priorities of those who elected him to office.

Fahe would argue that the types of security most Americans are concerned about include the security of a good job, the security of living in a safe home, and the security of a strong financial future.  The people of Appalachia and the people of rural places from across the country voted for Trump because he promised them the security of being recognized and no longer forgotten.  If he intends to make the security of Appalachia’s future a priority, then this budget does not reflect that promise.

Having the security of a good home changes lives.  Rebecca Seaton grew up sleeping in the living room of her family’s small, aging mobile home.  At the closing for her parent’s new home, the 10-year-old girl had only one question: “Does this mean I get a door?”  A door is a powerful symbol.  When we have the power to close it we can create security.  When we choose to open it, we have the power to move into a new opportunity.

Last fiscal year, Fahe, standing 50+ Members strong across the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Alabama, and Maryland utilized the programs under attack to transform the lives of 70,000 people.

These programs include USDA 502 Direct and Guaranteed Loans, Appalachian Regional Commission, HUD’s HOME Program, The CDFI Fund, NeighborWorks America, USDA Mutual Self Help Housing Program Section 523, USDA Section 533 Housing Preservation Program.  Now each of these programs are endangered under the new budget proposal.

We urge Congress to preserve the funding for the essential programs and services that open the door for new opportunities for the people of Appalachia and our rural places.  By ensuring a positive future that moves those who feel forgotten towards economic prosperity you will provide them with the real security they voted for.