Donovan: HUD budget responsible, effective

May 7, 2009 at 7:33 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said the $38.5 billion HUD budget proposal focuses on responsibility, effectiveness and transparency.

"We are cutting or consolidating programs that don't work and instead, investing in programs that do work," Donovan said Thursday in a news release.

The budget proposal for fiscal year 2010 would allow HUD to respond effectively to the housing crisis through new efforts to strengthen the Federal Housing Authority, curb mortgage abuse and predatory practices, and increase counseling for homeowners at risk of foreclosure, Donovan said.

The proposal would help the agency shape new markets and methods in production and preservation of affordable housing, "greening" residential housing, regeneration of high poverty neighborhoods and the promotion of sustainable growth, he said.

The budget would increase funding for Section 8, tenant-based rental vouchers, he said. It includes what Donovan called energy innovation investments:

-- $25 million for a Rural Innovation Fund to test and distribute information about innovative efforts to revitalize rural communities.

-- $100 million for an Energy Innovation Fund to spark private sector investment in the energy efficiency of the nation's housing stock.

-- $150 million for a new Sustainable Communities Initiative that would spur metropolitan and rural efforts to integrate transportation, housing and land-use planning and decisions.

"This budget addresses the nation's current housing crisis by finding savings and making targeted investments to help grow the economy and keep people in their homes," Donovan said.

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