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WASHINGTON, DC-Nonprofit member organization The National Housing Conference (NHC) criticizes the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fiscal Year 2002 appropriations budget — which has been passed by both the House and the Senate — as insufficient. While NHC commends the government organization’s work in getting the $30.2 billion bill passed, its members feel the provisions are not enough to assist the more than 13 million American families in need of affordable housing.

“The HUD FY2002 appropriation is totally inadequate,” NHC claims in a news release. “When you remove the obligatory funds for Section 8 renewals on old projects, the 2002 appropriation is actually less than FY 2001 and provides grossly inadequate funding for critical housing programs necessary to meet the nation’s affordable housing needs.” Those with critical housing needs are defined as families who spend more than 50% of their income on housing, or who reside in sub-standard conditions.

HUD, however, disagrees with NHC’s assessment. HUD spokesman Jereon M. Brown tells GlobeSt.Com that “this $30.2 billion budget allows HUD to open the doors of homeownership to more and more Americans while also increasing rental housing assistance, providing support to populations with special needs, improving conditions in our low-income communities and protecting our children.” The $30.2 billion represents a $1.7 billion or 6% increase over the FY 2001 budget.

Still, NHC says it is essential to address the shortage directly. “We must commit the necessary resources to solve this problem in a realistic and comprehensive manner, keeping in mind that housing is historically a proven stimulus to economic growth and has been a key factor in leading us out of recessions since the end of World War II.”

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