Press Release

For Immediate Release
October 1, 1999

Tony lallonardo
Phone: 202-293-7330

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.


September 24,1999

Representative James T. Walsh
Chair, VX, HUD & Independent
Agencies Subcommittee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC. 20515
Senator Christopher S. Bond
Chair, HUD & Independent
Agencies Subcommittee
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

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:

  • Fails to fund the Administration's request for 100,000 incremental housing vouchers, returning us to the days when HUD built no new housing - at a time when more Americans suffer in "worst case" housing than ever before (5.3 million households).
  • Cuts CDBG funding, the lifeblood of community development in all of your cities and counties, by 5 percent of $250 million.
  • Cuts funding for homeless persons.
  • Cuts funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships program by $20 million.
  • Eliminates programs that are dedicated to economic revitalization to take advantage of the strength of this economy to help those are left behind such as:
  • America's Private Investment Companies (APIC) - the 37 million would leverage $1 billion in new capital for investment.
  • The Abandoned Buildings Program - $50 million in each of the next three years would greatly reduce dilapidated structures that are inhibiting there development of communities.
  • Community Empowerment Fund-$125 million EDI funds to leverage $625 million in loans to city-suburb economic programs.
  • Regional Connections - $50 million to develop and implement the region-wide strategies for promoting economic growth and jobs creation with broader economic areas.
  • Severely reduces the HOPE VI program.

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.

Signed by

H. Brent Coles
Mayor, Boise, ID

Wellington E. Webb
Mayor, Denver CO

Marc Morial
Mayor, New Orleans, LA

Paul Helmke
Mayor, Fort Wayne, IN

Susan Bauman
Mayor, Madison, WI

Kenneth Barr
Mayor, Fort Worth, TX

Richard M. Daley
Mayor, Chicago, IL

Sara Bost,
Mayor, Irvington, NJ

Charles Box
Mayor, Rockford, IL

Sam Kathryn Campana
Mayor, Scottsdale, AZ

Lee Clancey
Mayor, Cedar Rapids, IA

Peter Clavelle
Mayor, Burlington, VT

Rosemary Corbin
Mayor, Richmond, CA

Patsy Jo Hilliard
Mayor, East Point, GA

Harvey Johnson
Mayor, Jackson, MS

Patrick McManus
Mayor, Lynn, MA

Gus Morrison
Mayor, Fremont, CA

Mike Morrison
Mayor, Waco, TX

Arlene J. Mulder
Mayor, Arlington Heights, IL

Rita L. Mullins
Mayor, Palatine, IL

Meyera Oberndorf
Mayor, Virginia Beach, VA

Carlos Ramirez
Mayor, El Paso, TX

James Sills
Mayor, Wilmington, DE

Pat McCrory
Mayor, Charlotte, NC

Susan Savage
Mayor, Tulsa, OK

Michael Turner
Mayor, Dayton, OH

Don Wesley
Mayor, Lincoln, NE