HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-246
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD office September 20, 2000


WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) today criticized House and Senate Appropriations Committees for "dramatically underfunding" HUD’s proposed fiscal year 2001 budget."If either the Senate or House budget becomes reality, it means that Congress has squandered this historic opportunity to help many Americans who need assistance to obtain affordable, decent, and safe housing," Cuomo said during a joint press conference with the USCM.Joining Cuomo in person were the following two mayors: USCM President H. Brent Coles, Boise, ID; and Anthony Masiello, Buffalo, NY; and Tom Cochran, executive director, USCM. Participating by telephone were mayors Scott King, Gary, IN; Lee Brown, Houston; Donald Plusquellic, Akron; Jim Dailey, Little Rock; Preston Daniels, Des Moines; Robert Bowser, East Orange, NJ; Sarah Bost, Irvington, NJ; Julie Holbrook, Covington, WA; Paul Schell, Seattle; Kay Barnes, Kansas City, MO; John Street, Philadelphia; James Sheets, Quincy, MA; and Dennis Archer, Detroit. Representing their mayors were: Vincent Sylvain, New Orleans; James Nicholson, Fayetteville, AR; and Myrna Hipp, Denver.In February, President Clinton proposed increasing HUD’s budget by $6 billion in fiscal year 2001 to $32.1 billion – "the strongest HUD budget in more than 20 years, with increases in every program area," Cuomo said at the time.Included among the program cuts made by Congress were:

  • $275 million from the fiscal year 2000 voucher account and failure to fund the $400 million increase needed to renew all current vouchers;

  • elimination of 120,000 new rental assistance vouchers;

  • $100 million from Community Development Block Grants that invest in a broad range of community projects;

  • $75 million from homeless assistance programs;

  • $50 million from the HOME program to expand homeownership;

  • $50 million from programs to revitalize public housing;

  • $37 million from a new initiative called American Private Investment Corporation, part of President Clinton and Speaker Hastert’s agreed-upon plan designed to spark economic development;

  • $35 million from Drug Elimination Grants for public housing developments;

  • $28 million to help more than 5,000 people with AIDS get housing; and

  • $6 million from programs to fight housing discrimination and ensure equal access to housing for all Americans.

According to Mayor Coles, "cities face many challenges, particularly in the areas of affordable housing, and community and economic development. We still have neighborhoods and families who have not participated in the economic recovery. We owe children in these communities stable and healthy neighborhoods. I call on Congress to restore the $2.5 billion to HUD’s budget so that we can continue to build stronger communities for the American people."Mayor Masiello noted that Buffalo, New York state’s second largest city, is "poised to take its place among the significant city giants of the 21st century," in part because of the common sense budgets of recent years. "Buffalo is making the most of this unprecedented period of prosperity," the mayor said. "The budget cuts that have been announced will impact each and every member of our community and are tantamount to damaging neighborhoods throughout a city long known as the "City of Good Neighbors.’"

Cuomo said that the House version of HUD’s budget is $2.5 billion less than the President’s request and includes no new housing vouchers. "We already have plenty of studies on affordable housing in this country, and they all say the same thing: housing needs are at an all-time high," Cuomo said. "We don’t need another study. What we need is new housing, but unfortunately, the House budget doesn’t provide any."The Senate version is not that much better, Cuomo lamented, because the Senate bill cuts $1.8 billion from the request. Unfortunately, the Senate bill did not include HUD’s new housing production program. However, the Senate has acknowledged the need for such a program through its $1 billion proposal. Cuomo characterized the Senate version, however, as "too little, too late." He added that it does not identify the source of the funds for new housing production, and like the House bill, contains no funds for new vouchers.


Content Archived: December 13, 2009