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House Financial Services Committee Takes Aim at HUD Programs to Reduce Deficit

Is chipping away further at Department of Housing and Urban Development programs a viable way to reduce the deficit? A recent House Financial Services Committee letter of recommendation says that many of HUD’s programs are duplicative or inefficient, and the programs are a good place to cut expenditures.

Under its recommendations to reduce expenditures, the committee states, “The Federal housing programs administered by HUD have historically been characterized by a high degree of inefficiency and duplication, and government watchdog organizations like HUD’s Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office have issued multiple reports over the years exposing waste, fraud and abuse at the agency. Yet HUD’s annual budget has increased steadily in recent years, rising from $31.92 billion in FY 2005 to $46.99 billion in FY 2010.”

The committee goes on to outline 12 HUD programs that it says have fallen short of their goals including NeighborWorks, for which it says the Joint Select Committee should consider eliminating funding, citing duplicative HUD programs.

Additionally, the committee recommends eliminating the FHA Refinance Program, Home Affordable Modification Program and Neighborhood Stabilization Program, among others.

Finally, the letter states that Dodd-Frank needs examining.

“The most significant impediment to economic growth that falls within the Financial Services Committee’s jurisdiction is the Dodd-Frank Act,” it states. “…some 15 months after it was enacted, many small businesses are starved for customers and credit; unemployment has soared to more than 9%; and for far too many American families, economic security seems farther away than ever.”

View the letter.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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