CUOMO CALLS ON PRESIDENT CLINTON TO VETO BILL
THAT MAKES DEVASTATING CUTS TO HUD'S BUDGET
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said he will recommend that President Clinton veto legislation setting HUD's Fiscal Year 2000 Budget if it remains in the form being considered today by the House Appropriations Committee.
The HUD Budget is part of a bill that also covers the Department of Veterans' Affairs, NASA and other agencies. The House Appropriations Committee was considering $2 billion in cuts to the HUD Budget below the level proposed by the President. The cuts were approved by a subcommittee earlier this week.
"It is bizarre to favor a tax cut for the richest of the rich while cutting crumbs for the poorest of the poor," Cuomo said. "I will urge the President to veto this bill."
"When the President proposed his budget for HUD, we said it would open doors for more Americans," Cuomo added. "Devastating cuts would instead slam doors shut on families struggling to work their way out of poverty and to find desperately needed affordable housing."
The cuts being considered by the House Appropriations Committee to the $28 billion budget that President Clinton proposed for HUD would wipe out most of the $2.5 billion increase that the President requested. The Committee's consideration of the HUD Budget followed severe budget restrictions imposed by the Congressional Budget Resolution.
Cuomo said that the cuts 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. Approximately 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 more than 800 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 tens of thousands of additional public housing units developing moderate or severe physical problems because of inadequate maintenance.
- Severely restrict the operating expenses for HUD that are critical for: improved monitoring and evaluation of assisted housing; the development of new financial systems designed to streamline and improve customer access to HUD programs; and statutorily required analyses of fair market rents, fair housing compliance, and unregulated mortgage companies.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009