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REPORT SHOWS CUTS TO HUD BUDGET WOULD HAVE DEVASTATING IMPACT
WASHINGTON - A new report issued today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development says $1.6 billion in cuts that Congress is considering to HUD's budget would have a devastating impact on the poorest people and communities in America.
President Clinton said today that increases are needed in HUD's budget. The President said: "We have worked very hard and made great strides to reverse decades of decline in our cities, transform public housing, and create new jobs and opportunities for millions of Americans. But the job is not done. Our nation needs the budget I proposed for HUD so we can move forward to help even more hard-working families get the jobs and housing they need to build better futures."
HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo said: "Cuts that Congress is considering to HUD's budget would deprive 97,000 people of jobs, 156,000 families of affordable housing, and 16,000 families and individuals who are homeless or have AIDS of vital housing assistance. At a time of unprecedented national prosperity, Congress shouldn't rob the poorest Americans to provide reckless tax cuts and create a new deficit. Now is the time to invest in a brighter future for people and places left behind."
The House Appropriations Committee made the cuts in July, reducing spending on HUD programs by $1.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2000 below the current year's level. The full House is expected to vote on the HUD budget in September. The Senate has not yet acted.
Cuomo was joined at a news conference today by representatives of a wide range of organizations whose members would be hurt by the cuts. Speakers at the news conference included: Martin Luther King III, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mayor Lee Clancy, representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors; National Association of County Officials President Vernon Gray, who is a councilman in Howard County, Maryland; and Cushing Dolbeare, who heads the group Meeting America's Housing Needs.
Groups expressing opposition to cuts in HUD's budget include: the National Association of County Officials, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, the National Urban League, the National Council of Senior Citizens, the National Council of La Raza, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, the Child Welfare League, Meeting America's Housing Needs, and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. (See attachment for statements by organizations.)
The new HUD report is called Losing Ground: The Impact of HUD Budget Cuts on America's Communities. The report says cuts to HUD's budget that were approved by the House Appropriations Committee would:
Cuomo said now is the time to invest in building a stronger, more prosperous America through HUD programs because:
Vernon Gray, President, National Association of County Officials: "Counties across the nation depend on HUD to help fund vital programs that benefit millions of families. Cuts in proposed funding for HUD will hurt our efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing, create jobs and revitalize communities."
Steve Protulis, Executive Director, National Council of Senior Citizens: "Cuts to HUD's budget would reduce housing assistance available to older Americans struggling to get by on fixed incomes. Congress should not endanger the security and safety of the poor, the disabled and the elderly who simply cannot afford to pay the costs of housing."
Kweisi Mfume, President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: "The NAACP opposes Congress' attempts to cut HUD's budget. These cuts would deprive low-income families around the country of needed housing assistance, would slow the economic recovery of our cities, and would weaken efforts to fight housing discrimination."
Raul Yzaguirre, Executive Director, National Council of La Raza: "The National Council of La Raza has worked with HUD on a variety of housing and economic development projects and we know firsthand the positive impact that these programs have had in the Latino community. For that reason, we are strongly opposed to the proposed cut in HUD's budget which would eliminate much needed housing, employment, and other economic opportunity programs for families around the country."
Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials: "The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials strongly opposes Congress' attempt to cut HUD's budget. Cities and communities around the country would be forced to cut back on programs for housing and economic development that are vital to extending the progress and prosperity of the Hispanic community. We urge Congress to reconsider these cuts."
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009