Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump hand up...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump’s proposed budget aggressively reduces programs designed to help the poor find housing, but leaves intact a program that rewards wealthy landlords—including one very special individual.

One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.

Trump may like to hang his name on faux luxury goods, but it’s the these apartments for the poor that has been his most dependable source of income. Trump has already taken home $38 million in government money for Starrett City just since his inauguration. The property has provided Trump a steady—and massive—income even when his disastrous investments in casinos and gaudy condos has left him filing bankruptcy on company after company. It’s an investment that’s proved to be so good, you can tell that Trump didn’t make it.

Trump once called Starrett City “one of the best investments I ever made,” but it was his father who was an investor in its construction, according to a representative of Starrett City.

“Upon Fred Trump’s death, his four children inherited his interests,” Bob Liff, a spokesman for Starrett City Associates …

Not only is Donald Trump taking millions from the government, he’s still living on money given to him by his father.

Trump has repeatedly tried to minimize the repeated and never paid back “loans” given him by his father. After all, It’s hard for Trump to tell the story of his rise a great businessman, if he admits that at every turn he was funded, bailed out, and set on his feet by dear old dad.

But now it’s not his father who is keeping Trump’s wallet full regardless of how bad his own investments might be. It’s everyone in America chipping in to make sure Donald can apply gold plate to whatever he likes.

“It’s a conflict, and it’s why everyone has pushed Trump to not only step away from his business interests but to divest them,” said Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, an independent watchdog organization.

There’s no trust blind enough to make Trump forget that he’s taking a big check from this program. It’s not a coincidence that when taking an ax to housing subsidies, the proposed budget cuts around the program that goes into Trump’s pocket. Other programs in the same portion of the budget come in for attack, but …

The budget calls for a nearly 29 percent cut, or $1.8 billion, to public housing and a 5 percent drop, or nearly $1 billion, in vouchers that allow tenants to use the aid on the housing of their choice, according to Douglas Rice, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In contrast, the program that directs money to Starrett City and other privately owned housing would see a reduction of about half a percent, or $65 million, from its $10.8 billion allocation.

29 percent off public housing. A billion dollar cut in housing vouchers. And … one half of one percent cut to the program that keeps Trump in position to look down on everyone who needs that assistance.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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