Under a proposed White House plan, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would lose substantial funding for its community development programs, and funding for rural housing and economic development programs would be eliminated. President Bush also plans to transfer existing programs that he deems redundant to other agencies such as Commerce and Labor. "I'm always willing to look at consolidation, but clearly they're using consolidation as a shield for substantial budget reductions," said Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.), the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over housing and community development programs. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), one of HUD's key programs, could lose up to half of its $4.7 billion funding. "If this is a backdoor way of eliminating a program like CDBG, it would have a profoundly negative impact on cities," said Jim Hunt, a vice president of the National League of Cities and a city council member in Clarksburg, W.Va. Some speculate that eliminating programs and funding at HUD will benefit the President's second term agenda. "HUD is the place where mayors and urban interests can put up the strongest fight," Congressman Frank said.
Thanks to Peter Buryk