Highlights of the 1999 Proposed HUD Budget

Community Empowerment Fund: The budget proposes $400 million in grants for a HUD Community Empowerment Fund to help economic distressed communities create and retain an estimated 280,000 jobs.

Community Development Block Grants: The budget proposes a $50 million increase for an improved Community Development Block Grant Program...bringing the total funding to $4.7 billion.

Brownfields: The budget seeks $25 million in increased funding to redevelop contaminated industrial sites called brownfields - doubling this year’s funding.

New Housing Vouchers: The budget seeks $585 million in new funds for more than 100,000 new rental housing vouchers — compared with no funding for new vouchers this year. HUD has not received funding for new vouchers since 1994. Of the 100,000 new vouchers, 50,000 would be provided through a new $283 million welfare-to-work initiative announced earlier by the President to provide stable housing to families struggling to move off welfare rolls and join the workforce. A second initiative would provide $192 million for 34,000 additional Section 8 rental assistance vouchers for homeless people moving from shelter care into permanent homes. The 1999 budget also asks for $60 million to provide an additional 10,600 Section 8 vouchers and $50 million for 8,800 new vouchers targeted to elderly and disabled Americans.

Homelessness: The budget calls for $135 million in increased funding for homeless grants—combined with $192 million for 34,000 rental assistance vouchers for homeless people (included in above paragraph) - for a total of $1.15 billion to help more homeless Americans get housing and become self-sufficient. This represents a nearly 40 percent increase over this year’s enacted funding of $823 million.

Housing Discrimination: The budget requests 422 million in increased funding to fight housing discrimination, for a total of $52 million - a 73 percent increase over this year.

HOME Grants: The budget proposes &50 million of additional HOME grants for a total of $1.55 billion in resources to provide permanent housing to low-and moderate-income families.

Public Housing: The budget calls for $50 million in increased funding to finance capital improvements in public housing, boosting total capital improvements in public housing, boosting total capital improvement funding to $2.55 billion. Capital funds may be used to upgrade viable housing units, demolish obsolete units, provide continued assistance to displaced families, or build replacement units. In addition, funding for the HOPE VI program, which demolishes and replaces severely deteriorated public housing, would remain at $550 million. The budget also fully funds public housing operating subsidies.

Homeownership Zones: The budget proposes $25 million in new funds for Homeownership Zones - large-scale revitalization efforts to create neighborhoods of family homes and promote inner city homeownership.

Lead Hazard Reduction: The budget seeks $25 million in increases funding to control lead hazards in and around housing, for a total of $85 million - a 40 percent increase over this year.

Housing For People With AIDS: The budget seeks $21 million in additional funds for the housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program, for a total of $225 million - a 10 percent increase.

Enhancing Tenant Choice in Section 8: The budget requests $20 million in new funds to help0 13,000 low -income families receive Section 8 vouchers find homes outside low-income neighborhoods through the Regional Opportunity Counseling program.

Housing Counseling: The budget requests $5 million in increased funds for housing counseling to boost homeownership, for a total of $25 million - a 25 percent increase.

Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine published 1998 Issue 25