Congressional Budget Impasse Threatens Homes for Thousands of Pennsylvanians

GLENSIDE, Pa., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Congress is set to vote today, December 11th, 2007 on housing funds in the continuing battle with the White House about domestic spending priorities.

It is high stakes for Pennsylvania’s struggling housing market.

If the President’s budget becomes law, 974 families, seniors and disabled face losing their homes, another 16,818 apartments are at risk. The popular CDBG program will lose $67 million dollars for home construction, rehabilitation, repair and other critical civic projects.

Nationally, 15,000 new vouchers for homeless veterans will not be supplied; $200 million to mitigate the growing mortgage foreclosure crisis will be sacrificed. The President’s budget would also impose the deepest funding shortfalls in the public housing program’s history, exacerbating the recent deterioration in living conditions and security.

“This is no time for Congress to stop investing in the housing market” said Liz Hersh, executive director of the statewide Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. “We have a spiraling mortgage crisis, rising numbers of homeless and an ailing rental market. We need leadership in DC to fix these problems, not partisan politics. We need investment, not abdication.”

“HUD funds, while often targeted as “big government” are in fact, just one piece of the pie to build and provide homes. This battle isn’t about HUD, it’s about the people of Pennsylvania having the security of a HOME. Local communities can’t do it alone. We need help from our leaders in Washington to provide incentives and capital to grow and sustain the supply of homes. These cuts will make things worse.”

The President has vowed to veto the Transportation-HUD appropriations bill and other domestic appropriations bills that exceed the overall funding level for those bills in his budget. Congress would have to cut the Transportation-HUD bill by $3 billion to bring it down to the President’s proposed funding level for the bill.

“In the debate about federal spending, the local impact of these decisions is sometimes lost. We are hoping that the Pennsylvania delegation will look at the housing market in PA before they vote,” stated Hersh, “this vote is about the health of Pennsylvania’s economy and the well being of our communities, nothing more, nothing less.”

SOURCE The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania

© 2007 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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