Mayors Denounce HUD Cuts
Washington -- Mayors and local government leaders from around the nation joined Denver Mayor and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Wellington Webb in denouncing budget cuts in both the House and Senate FY 2000 VA/HUD Appropriations bill.
The letter was signed September 24, 1999 during the 1999 Fall Leadership Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Denver, Colorado and is addressed to the respective appropriations subcommittee chairmen in the House and Senate. A copy of the letter is attached.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.
Dear Chairman Walsh and Chairman Bond:
We are writing to you as members of The United States Conference of Mayors Leadership regarding the FY2000 VA/HUD Appropriations bill that will soon be taken up by the House/Senate Conference. There are differences between the two bills, with the House bill being the most severe in cuts to housing and community development programs.
On September 9, the House passed HUD's FY2000 budget, providing for a $1.6 billion cut over last year's actual funding. The bill completely wipes out the $2 billion increase proposed by the Administration, requiring cuts in almost every HUD program
The House bill:
While the Senate bill is an improvement on the House bill, the measure also does not fund any new incremental housing vouchers. The Senate bill also cuts the HOPE VI program and the Community Builder initiative.
We applaud the Senate bill for funding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program at $4.8 billion and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program at $1.6 billion. We urge the conferees to fund the CDBG and HOME programs at the Senate level.
We also ask the House and Senate conferees to fund all housing and community development programs at the Administration's request. We strongly support funding new initiatives such as APIC, the Abandoned Buildings Program, the Community Empowerment Funds, and Regional Connections.
H. Brent Coles
Wellington E. Webb
Richard M. Daley
Sam Kathryn Campana
Patsy Jo Hilliard
Arlene J. Mulder
Rita L. Mullins