Source: The Washington Post, May 4, 2011, by Michelle Singletary Michelle Singletary, a recent speaker at the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2011 policy conference, recently wrote a column for the Washington Post, in which she talks about the federal cuts to the housing counseling programs. Michelle’s speech at the housing conference is by far the most memorable…inspiring all of the conference-goers to declare “NO MORE CRUMBS”, that is, not to ask for crumbs of funding anymore but instead to go after the big picture of permanently fixing funding for affordable housing programs. In her column she writes:”As with any budget, there is always room to cut.
But should everything be on the chopping block? Our federal budget deficit demands that we make cuts, and many of them will be deep and painful. However, just as with your personal budget, some things shouldn’t be chopped. As part of federal budget negotiations, $88 million in cuts were made to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Counseling Assistance programs for fiscal 2011. The cuts will eliminate funding for nonprofit HUD-approved community-based housing counseling nationwide. Among other services, the counselors provide rental, pre-purchase and reverse-mortgage advice, homeless assistance and foreclosure-prevention help. More than 2,700 counseling agencies participate in the HUD program. “If there was any doubt that middle- and working-class Americans are paying more than their fair share in the deficit-reduction battles, the budget cuts recently enacted to prevent a government shutdown make it absolutely clear,” said Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive of the National Urban League. It is unreasonable, in the midst of a housing crisis that has financially devastated hundreds of thousands of households, that we are taking away access to free or low-cost counseling that helps these families…” Full Article: Funds for housing counseling shouldn’t be cut PDF of Article: Funds for housing counseling shouldn’t be cut