HUD budget reflects nearly 10 percent hike

April 10, 2013 at 3:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- The $47.6 billion for Housing and Urban Development in President Obama's budget reflects a nearly 10 percent increase over 2012, the White House said Wednesday.

More than 90 percent of the funding increase would be used to maintain current levels of assistance to vulnerable families, the budget document said.

To assist vulnerable families, the budget includes $37.4 billion to provide rental housing assistance to 4.7 million low-income families and $2.4 billion to help the administration work toward its goal to end chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans and families.

The budget also would invest to revitalize high-poverty neighborhoods, reduce blight in communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis and support sustainable economic development.

Savings are achieved by reducing funds for new affordable housing construction and reforms to HUD's rental assistance programs that don't reduce the number of families served.

Among other things, the HUD budget proposal would:

-- Provide $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program and neighborhood stabilization activities.

-- Include $75 million to help communities develop comprehensive housing and transportation plans that increase transit-accessible housing.

-- Provide $726 million to address housing needs of American Indian tribes and $332 million to modernize the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program to target funds to areas with the highest need.

-- Reduce funding to HUD's core rental assistance programs by simplifying administration of the medical expense deduction, setting more equitable public housing rents and better targeting rental assistance to the working poor.

"The constrained fiscal environment also forced tough choices," the budget document said, "including funding reductions to programs that increase the supply of affordable housing."

The budget provides $950 million for the Home Investment Partnerships Program, 5 percent below the 2012 enacted level. At this funding level, the grants available to state and local officials will supply about 40,000 more units of affordable housing for low-income families.

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