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VICE PRESIDENT GORE AND SECRETARY CUOMO SAY NEW HUD BUDGET EXPECTED TO BRING ABOUT $17,045,000 TO CHARLOTTE
ASHINGTON - Charlotte would receive an estimated $17,045,000 in 1999 - an increase of about $2,200,000 over this year - under the Clinton Administration's budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Vice President Al Gore and HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today.
"President Clinton and I have proposed the best budget to meet the nation's urban needs in over a decade," the Vice President said. "This budget is good for America's cities, good for America's housing, good for America's economy, and good for the American people. While balancing the budget for the first time in 30 years, we also can continue to invest in cities and help families."
Vice President Gore and Secretary Cuomo announced the budget estimates in a telephone conference call from Washington with Charlotte Mayor Patrick McCrory and with mayors from several other cities.
HUD combined historical data with data on the new budget from its major assistance programs to forecast the approximate amount of aid Charlotte would receive under these programs if the President's budget is approved by Congress without change. Aid from other HUD programs - such as Youthbuild, Brownfields Redevelopment and Homeownership Zones - could boost assistance to Charlotte even higher. The exact amount of HUD funds going to individual communities under the President's budget in 1999 cannot be determined, since some funding is awarded on a competitive basis.
A table estimating HUD assistance to Charlotte for major programs in 1999 under the President's proposed budget is attached.
Vice President Gore said the HUD budget builds on the reinvention of the Department that Secretary Cuomo implemented over the past year, which was highlighted by management reforms to improve HUD's performance and an aggressive campaign to wipe out waste, fraud and abuse in HUD programs.
Cuomo said the reforms have closed the "competency gap" at HUD, and will enable the Department to focus on closing the "opportunity gap" in the next fiscal year.
"Our budget will help close the opportunity gap that stands as a barrier to the American Dream for far too many families," Cuomo said. "We will give more of America's people and communities the chance to share in the bounty of the strong economy created by President Clinton's policies. We will create jobs and economic opportunity, provide more affordable housing, and increase homeownership."
"Mayors across the nation will be our partners in tailoring HUD programs to best meet local needs," Cuomo said. "We want to strengthen this partnership, because mayors are doing an outstanding job finding innovative new ways to do a better job for their cities. HUD's goal is not to tell mayors and communities what to do, but to help them do what they want to do."
HUD's overall budget seeks $1.8 billion in additional program funds for an intensified effort to revitalize communities, create jobs, produce affordable housing and expand homeownership. The $1.8 billion in increased program spending is offset in part by $900 million in savings resulting largely from improved management and the expiration of one-time expenses, such as disaster relief funding to respond to Midwest flooding. As a result, HUD's budget authority would rise from $24.1 billion this year to $25 billion next year.
The HUD budget calls for no new programs. Instead, it focuses on reinventing and increasing funding for 20 existing programs to improve their performance and benefit more of America's people and communities, Cuomo said. The reinvented programs will place a greater emphasis on HUD working in partnership with local governments, businesses and non-profit groups. In addition, program performance will be improved by HUD's far-reaching management reforms.
Programs targeted for expansion and improvement in the budget involving jobs and economic opportunity include: $400 million in grants for a Community Empowerment Fund to create and retain an estimated 280,000 jobs; funding for 15 additional urban Empowerment Zones to stimulate job creation and economic development in inner cities; expanded Community Development Block Grants to local communities; and increased funding for programs to redevelop contaminated industrial sites and to train high school dropouts for jobs.
Programs being expanded and improved dealing with housing and homeownership include: higher FHA loan limits to enable about 3 million more families to qualify for FHA-insured mortgages over the next five years; 100,000 new rental housing vouchers for people needing affordable housing, including those moving from welfare to work; record funding for programs to help homeless Americans; an intensified crackdown on housing discrimination;
increased HOME grants and a HOME Bank to make thousands of additional affordable housing units available; increased funding for capital improvements for public housing; the creation of new Homeownership Zones to revitalize inner city neighborhoods and promote homeownership; additional funds to control lead hazards around housing; more assistance to help people with AIDS meet their housing needs; more help for families receiving Section 8 rental assistance to find housing outside low-income neighborhoods; and expanded housing counseling to boost homeownership.
The budget responds to a vital need to jump-start the economies of America's communities, particularly inner cities, where job growth has trailed other parts of the country, Cuomo said. Just 13 percent of the 14 million jobs created around the nation in the past five years are in central cities.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009