Reject HUD Budget Cuts, Cuomo Urges Congress FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 30 Jul 1999 22:47:13 -0700 (PDT)


http://www.usnewswire.com:80/topnews/Current_Releases/0726-152.htm
FWD  U.S. Newswire - 26 July, 1999

Contact: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,
Office of Public Affairs, 202-708-0685;
Web site: http://www.hud.gov/news.html

CUOMO CALLS ON HOUSE AND SENATE TO REJECT CUTS IN HUD'S BUDGET

WASHINGTON, July 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) Secretary Andrew Cuomo called on the House
and Senate to reject $2 billion in cuts to HUD's proposed Fiscal
Year 2000 Budget that were approved today by a House subcommittee.

The Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies made the cuts
to the $28 billion budget President Clinton proposed for HUD, wiping
out most of the $2.5 billion increase that the President requested.
The action follows severe budget restrictions imposed by the
Congressional Budget Resolution.

"Today's action strikes a terrible blow against families and
communities in need, ensuring that those left behind on America's
road to prosperity will fall even further back," Cuomo said. "I call
on the House and Senate to reject these devastating cuts and improve
funding levels for HUD."

Cuomo said that the cuts approved by the House subcommittee
would:

-- Fail to fund the Administration's request for 100,000
incremental rental assistance vouchers at a time when worst-case
housing needs remain at an all-time high. A record 5.3 million
low-income households in this country have worst-case housing needs
-- defined as spending over 50 percent of their income on rent.

-- Cut other housing and economic development activity under the
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program by $275 million from
the Administration's request. As a result, about 33,000 fewer people
would get housing rehabilitation, construction, and homebuyer
assistance. About 10,000 fewer jobs would be created by CDBG.
Another 7,000 to 10,000 people would not get job opportunities
because of cuts in the Section 108 Loan Guarantee program. The HOME
program would be cut by $30 million from the Administration's
request.

-- Cut help for homeless people by $55 million compared with the
Administration's request, resulting in approximately 43,000 homeless
people -- including 15,000 homeless children -- being denied
desperately needed services. These services include transitional and
permanent housing, mental health counseling, job training and drug
treatment. In addition, more than 30,000 homeless people would lose
access to shorter-term emergency services such as homeless prevention
and emergency shelter beds. More than 2,200 beds for homeless people
would be lost -- forcing many of these people out on the street.
Nearly 12,000 people with disabilities and 6,500 homeless veterans
would not receive HUD homeless assistance.

-- Reduce the protection against housing discrimination. The
20 percent cut in fair housing programs below the Administration's
request would deny the assistance needed by state and local fair
housing agencies to process approximately 1,500 fair housing
complaints. The cuts would also deny funds to local communities that
want to establish new private fair housing organizations where local
public agencies do not exist.

-- Increase physical problems with public housing. Since public
housing authorities would be forced to respond to funding cuts by
reducing maintenance, the 6 percent cut in operating subsidies
compared with the funding proposed by the Administration is likely to
result in 150,000 additional public housing units developing moderate
or severe physical problems because of inadequate maintenance. An
additional 10,000 Indian housing units are also likely to become
substandard.

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