Increases CDBG, HOME Funding|
By Eugene T. Lowe
Senate Subcommittee on VA-HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee
significantly improved the outlook for the Community Development Block
Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships program for FY2000 with
increases for both programs over the recently passed House funding levels.
The Senate approved funding for CDBG at $4.8 billion, a $50 million
increase over last yearís level of $4.750, and $25 million more than
requested by the administration. The Senate subcommittee funded HOME at $1.6 billion, the same
as last yearís funding. The
appropriations bill was passed on September 16.
The House, which passed its bill on September 9, cut the CDBG program from
$4.750 billion to $4.5 billion, while HOME was cut from $1.6 billion to
$1.58 billion. In addition, the House bill cuts funding for the homeless,
the HOPE VI (the distressed public housing program), Brownfields, and the
Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).
Virtually none of the Administrationís new initiatives for HUD
were funded in the House bill including
the Americaís Private Investment Companies (APIC) which is part of the
administrationís highly touted New Markets Strategy.
Neither the House nor the Senate provide funding for incremental housing
vouchers. In its FY2000
budget, the administration requested 100,000 incremental housing vouchers.
The Senate also cut HOPE VI from $625 million to $500 million,
which is also $125 million less than the administrationís request.
In a joint letter released by the Conference of Mayors and the National
Association of Counties (NACo) to the Senate,
the severity of the cuts are described: ďThe cutbacks in HUDís
programs could not be more ill-timed.
While many of our communities have made tremendous progress in the
last few years, some communities have really only begun to turn the
corner. High unemployment
continues to plague one in six central cities, one in five are steadily
losing population and poverty remains unacceptably high in 33%.ď