Mayors Join HUD Secretary in Call to Fully Fund HUD Programs
by Eugene T. Lowe
On Wednesday, September 20, Conference President and Boise Mayor H. Brent Coles joined HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo in a press conference at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to call on Congress to fully fund HUD Programs in the FY2001 appropriations.
Last week, September 13, the Senate Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies and the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill that had left several programs with less funding than that requested by the Administration. The House which had passed the HUD bill earlier in the summer provided even less funding for housing and community development programs than the Senate.
Albany Mayor Anthony Masiello joined Mayor Coles at the press conference with Secretary Cuomo, while several mayors from around the nation along with their local press listened in by telephone.
In his comments, Mayor Coles called on Congress to fund the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program at $5 billion, which is $200 million more than the Senate's funding at $4.8 , and $500 million more than the House funding of the program at $4.5 billion. He also said that the HOME Investment Partnerships program should be funded at $2 billion, which is $400 million more than the House and Senate. Mayor Coles called on Congress to fund incremental vouchers at the administration's request for 120,000 new units. The mayor spoke of the great benefit that homeless programs have brought to his community and called on Congress to fund the program at $1.2 billion, instead of the $1.020 billion that was passed by both the Senate and the House.
Participating in the press conference by conference call were Houston Mayor Lee Brown, Akron Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey, Des Moines Mayor Preston A. Daniels, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson, East Orange Mayor Robert L. Bowser, Irvington Mayor Sara B. Bost, Covington Mayor Julie Holbrook, Quincy Mayor James Sheets, Philadelphia Mayor John Street, Savannah Mayor Floyd Adams, Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, Vincent Sylvain, Executive Assistant for Housing and Neighborhood Development representing New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, James Nicholson, Community Development Director representing Fayetteville Mayor Fred B. Hanna, Jr., Myrna Hipp, Director of Community Development representing Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and LeAnn Leziatan, Chief Executive Officer for DeKalb County representing Stone Mountain Mayor Chuck Burris.