HUD budget ‘keeps residents in their homes,’ Donovan says

The Department of Housing and Urban Development would receive $47.6 billion in the president’s proposed 2014 budget, an increase of more than 6 percent from that sought for 2013, and a 9.7 percent increase over the 2012 enacted level.

The White House says more than 90 percent of the requested funding is needed to maintain current levels of rental assistance and aid for homeless families. It includes $37.4 billion to provide rental housing assistance to 4.7 million low-income families.

“It keeps residents in their homes,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said during a budget briefing Wednesday afternoon.

The budget also includes $2.4 billion to combat homelessness, including money for 10,000 new vouchers that are to be used to house homeless veterans. But Donovan said that cuts in federal support have left many public housing authorities around the country unable to afford the administrative costs associated with the vouchers.

“What we’ve seen are housing authorities turning back vouchers,” Donovan said. “If you think about it, it’s a stunning turn of events.”

The budget would provide $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, including $200 million in new funding to redevelop blighted properties and create jobs in communities hard hit by the foreclosure crisis.

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