Most immediately, the proposed 2011 budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development calls for a 5 percent reduction in its budget from last year, which in turn was a 9 percent increase from the year before. In the introduction, Secretary Shaun Donovan writes that last year's increase was necessary because of the declining economy and because the agency had been neglected.This year they had the ability to make more targeted reductions and increases, he said.
Donovan says in the introduction that funding from the stimulus bill
and other new sources make up for some of the cuts but that some
programs will have to seek funding elsewhere. Housing programs for the
disabled and the elderly are among those affected.
At the same time, the introduction is full of buzz words about fiscal discipline and streamlining rental assistance programs. I'll be digging in later today. Happily, though, there are funding increases for programs focused on rental housing, including $1 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund. The budget also prioritizes funding for a joint program with the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation for sustainable development and for rental assistance.