HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-114
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Thursday
Or contact your local HUD office May 25, 2000


WASHINGTON – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today urged rejection of a House subcommittee’s action on HUD’s fiscal year 2001 budget, saying cuts to housing, community development and economic development say "no to compassion, no to common sense."

"Our prosperity creates a unique opportunity to address the needs of the people who have been left behind in this booming economy. The Subcommittee’s budget is a giant step backward in our efforts to address poverty and the shortage of affordable housing. It says "no" to that opportunity, says "no" to any stepped-up efforts to address those crises and says "no" to the victims of these crises. This country has a record 5.4 million families who pay more than half their income each month for rent. Yet this budget will not result in a single new voucher. The vast majority of Americans are calling for a reduction in gun violence. Yet this budget refuses to fund HUD’s gun violence prevention programs.

"Ironically, President Clinton and Speaker Hastert this week reached bipartisan agreement on a bold, innovative program to help those places in America our booming economy has left behind. This budget, however, will only leave those places even further behind."

Cuomo said that the spending plan by the House subcommittee:

  • Says "NO!" to Community Renewal/New Markets Agreement. On Tuesday, President Clinton and Speaker Hastert announced that they had reached a bipartisan agreement with Congressional leaders on the New Markets and Community Renewal legislative initiative. Yet, on the very same day as this historic, bipartisan announcement, the House subcommittee approves a budget that cuts many of the elements of that initiative: It fails to provide any of the $37 million for APIC the President had requested; rejects $22 million earmarked to help communities in the Mississippi Delta; cuts funding for "brownfields" redevelopment; slashes funding for housing and economic development in rural communities; and, eliminates some $20 million in funding to assist faith-based and community organizations in their efforts to supply affordable housing, create economic opportunity, promote fair housing or to increase the effectiveness of HUD programs like Section 8 rental assistance.

  • Says "NO!" to increasing the supply of affordable housing. A record 5.4 million unassisted, low-income households in this country have "worst-case" housing needs and spend over 50 percent of their income on rent. But the House budget proposal fails to fund the Administration’s request for 120,000 incremental rental assistance vouchers, including 10,000 vouchers for housing production of the first new affordable housing for families since 1996. The expected result will be even more families with "worst-case" housing needs.

  • Says "NO!" to better public housing. Reflecting a bipartisan consensus, HUD has made significant progress in transforming the nation’s public housing stock, correcting the fundamental mistakes symbolized by projects like the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago and reconnecting public housing complexes to the larger economies around them. This spending plan stops that progress in its tracks, failing to provide $54 million in much-needed operating subsidies, $60 million in HOPE VI funds to revitalize distressed housing, and $155 million in public housing modernization funds.

  • Says "NO!" to local efforts to use federal dollars to develop communities. HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is among the most flexible of federal programs, allowing local officials to use federal dollars to meet a wide variety of community priorities, from redeveloping downtown areas to modernizing parks and playgrounds, from laying down water and sewer lines to opening after-school recreation programs, from repairing dilapidated senior centers to assisting local entrepreneurs to start a new business, from sheltering the homeless or abused spouses to rehabilitating homes. The Subcommittee would cut the President’s CDBG request by $395 million, including a $303 million cut to the funding provided directly to local communities.

  • Says "NO!" to homeownership. HUD’s innovative HOME program provides funding to state and local governments as well as Indian tribes to help them acquire, rehabilitate or build affordable housing. Thousands of communities use HOME dollars to promote homeownership, either by providing homebuyers with down payment assistance or by using the dollars to repair existing units or produce new ones for purchase. The Subcommittee cuts proposed HOME funding by $65 million.

  • Says "NO!" to delivery of vital services. As part of its effort to transform itself into an agency which better serves the American people, HUD’s streamlining already has included significant staff reductions. The Subcommittee’s spending plan would eliminate up to 800 positions - 9% of HUD’s workforce. Many of these civil servants have 20 or 30 years of experience in the federal service and many of them the only staff members assigned to our smaller offices. In addition to the detrimental effects these reductions in force will have on HUD’s customers, reductions in overhead spending will impose severe supply shortages and travel restrictions on the agency, significantly impeding HUD’s ability to perform and monitor the very functions Congress has expressly mandated.

  • Says "NO!" to the homeless. There are more than 600,000 American families in any month who do not have a roof over their heads. The Subcommittee’s plan fails to provide $180 million in funds requested under the McKinney Act to once and for all give them a place they can call home.

  • Says "NO!" to the elderly. As "baby boomers" reach retirement age, our nation is growing older. In response, the Administration proposed an innovative "continuum of care" that would insure that the full range of the housing needs of the elderly – from maintaining their own homes to assisted living – are provided. The Subcommittee not only rejected that proposal, but, notwithstanding the growth of our elderly population, refused to provide some $69 million requested for HUD’s elderly housing program, Section 202.

  • Says "NO!" to people with AIDS. The nation’s AIDS caseload continues to rise. HUD’s Housing for People with AIDS program provides for the housing needs of this population. Notwithstanding the rising demand, the Subcommittee has provided no new funding for the HOPWA program.

  • Says "NO!" to gun safety. The American people want to reduce gun violence. But the subcommittee’s budget plan refuses to fund the Community Gun Safety and Violence Reduction Initiative, a $30-million initiative, funded as part of the Drug Elimination Grant program, to help address the critical issue of gun violence in and around the communities HUD serves. The initiative would fund 1) public education and outreach programs to promote responsible gun ownership and address the hazards posed by firearms; 2) technical assistance and matching funds to implement innovative, performance-driven gun violence reduction programs, and 3) support for state-of-the-art computerized gun-violence tracking and mapping partnerships to provide critical information about instances of gun-related violence to help law enforcement agencies in their gun-violence reduction initiatives.

  • Says "NO!" to the war on drugs. For too many years, public housing residents have been terrorized by the prevalence – and violence – of the drug trade in their complexes. Thanks to HUD’s Drug Elimination Grants for Low-Income Housing, authorities in cities large and small have finally begun to turn the tide in the battle against drug dealers. Notwithstanding their success, the Subcommittee has cut drug elimination funds by some $10 million.


Content Archived: December 13, 2009