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U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano Condemns Housing Budget Cuts

September 8, 1999 -- Today, U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D, MA) joined Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and other House members to protest deep cuts to the Fiscal Year 2000 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget, which is scheduled for a vote this week. The current Republican proposal is $1.6 billion below last year's funding levels.

"These budget cuts would move America in exactly the wrong direction. Although we are experiencing unprecedented economic prosperity, many communities across the country are being left behind. We should be expanding, not cutting, programs that provide vital affordable housing opportunities and fund neighborhood revitalization efforts," stated Rep Mike Capuano.

The current proposal includes a number of substantial cuts. No funding is provided for the new Section 8 rental vouchers authorized in last year's legislation that would provide affordable housing to 100,000 Americans. Economic development funding is also cut - the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program suffers a $250 million cut and $20 million is eliminated from the HOME program. These initiatives provide flexible assistance to cities and towns to revitalize neighborhoods, redevelop abandoned properties, and provide new housing and job opportunities for low and moderate-income citizens. The cuts to CDBG mean that 10,000 fewer jobs will be created in these communities next year.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has estimated that the 8th Congressional District of Massachusetts will lose $4.5 million in housing and community development funding compared to FY 1999 funding levels if these cuts are enacted. In addition, HUD estimates that 610 fewer affordable housing units and 191 fewer jobs will be created in the 8th district next year because of these cuts.

"These budget cuts hurt working families the most. Congress should fully fund the HUD budget, not eliminate $1.6 billion. What's going on here is simple. The Republican majority is looking for ways to fund their tax cut at the expense of the most vulnerable Americans," stated Rep. Capuano.