RISMEDIA, February 16, 2011—U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled HUD’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposal. Titled Creating Strong, Sustainable, Inclusive Communities and Quality Affordable Homes, the budget seeks to help lead America out of an unprecedented economic crisis and ensure our economy is competitive, growing and working for all Americans. HUD is taking responsibility for our deficit by investing in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn’t.
“The budget provides a roadmap for HUD to work with our regional and local partners to win the future by investing in innovation, building neighborhoods that are connected to jobs and providing greater access to opportunity, so American businesses and communities are the best in the world,” said Donovan. “The President has said that we need to live within our means to invest in the future. That has meant tough choices, including to programs that, absent the fiscal situation, we would not cut. But American families are tightening their belts and we need to do the same.”
The President is submitting this budget in an economic environment that is significantly improved from when the he took office. An economy that was shrinking is growing again, and instead of rapid job loss, more than a million private sector jobs were created in the last year. But there’s still more work to be done to ensure that America and its workers can compete and win in the 21st century. HUD’s FY 2012 budget tackles these challenges head on by:
– helping responsible families at risk of losing their homes and meeting the need for quality affordable rental housing;
– transforming neighborhoods of poverty and ensuring that children there have access to the quality education we need to compete in the 21st century;
– rebuilding the national resource that is our federally-assisted public housing stock and ensuring that its tenants are part of the mobile, skilled workforce our new global economy requires;
– leveraging private sector investments in communities to create jobs and generate the economic growth we need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.
HUD’s budget also reflects the need to ensure that America’s future isn’t built on a mountain of debt. As a down payment toward reducing the deficit, the President has proposed a freeze on domestic spending for the next five years, cutting the deficit by $400 billion over 10 years and bringing non-security discretionary spending to the lowest share of the economy since President Eisenhower. Every department shares a responsibility to make tough cuts so there’s room for investments to speed economic growth. HUD’s fiscal year 2012 budget more than meets the President’s goal:
-The Department’s $48 billion in gross budget authority is offset by $5 billion in projected FHA and Ginnie Mae receipts credited to HUD’s appropriations accounts, leaving net budget authority of $43 billion, or 1% below the fiscal year 2010 enacted level of $43.5 billion.
-To maintain this commitment to fiscal discipline, HUD will protect existing residents and made the difficult choice to reduce funding for new units and projects, including cuts to the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, and new construction components of the Supportive Housing Programs for the Elderly (202) and Disabled (811).
And because meeting the President’s State of the Union charge to “Win the Future” also means reforming government so it’s leaner, more transparent and ready for the 21st century, HUD proposes reforming the administrative infrastructure that oversees its programs.
-Through the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act legislative proposal that is part of this budget, HUD will simplify and rationalize the rent setting provisions of our largest program, yielding—if enacted—over $150 million in savings in the first year and over $1 billion in savings over the next half decade.
-Finally, the Transformation Initiative—important funding and programmatic flexibility Congress provided in 2010—is enabling HUD to conduct the kinds of research and demonstrations that will ensure that we are funding what works and identifying what doesn’t and what we need to do better.
“This budget reflects the Obama Administration’s recognition of the critical role the housing sector must play for the nation to experience a robust, long-term economic recovery,” Donovan said. “Equally important, it expresses the confidence of the President in the capacity of HUD to meet a high standard of performance. In short, while it requires hard choices to reduce the deficit, this blueprint for fiscal year 2012 is one that will deliver results for the vulnerable people and often-distressed places that HUD helps.”
For more information, visit www.hud.gov.