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HUD budget cuts for 2012 total $3.8 billion

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development will operate on $3.8 billion less next year than it did in 2011, equating to a more than 9% budget cut. HUD's 2012 budget of $37.3 billion is $4.7 billion lower than President Obama's initial request. The minibus spending bill, signed by President Obama Friday, also eliminated HUD funding for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities program. The agency distributed 2011 grants through the program Monday, amounting to $96 million. HUD contributed $100 million to the program this year, spokesman Brian Sullivan said, and the initial request for 2012 was $150 million. The sustainability program, created in 2009, is a partnership between HUD, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency to create affordable housing and improve transportation with the environment in mind. Sullivan said HUD partnered with the DOT in 2010, doling out joint transportation and community planning grants. Cuts to HUD's community planning and development programs for 2012 total $830 million, pushing the budget down to $6.6 billion. The bill pared down HUD's public housing capital and operating funds as well by about $725 million to nearly $4.9 billion for 2012. The spending bill also reinstalled higher conforming loan limits for the Federal Housing Administration. Write to Andrew Scoggin. Follow him on Twitter @ascoggin.

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