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Kemp supports President's HOPE budget request.

Jack Kemp, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), called the President's budget a "good faith effort" to fulfill HUD's mission to provide housing and community activities to the local level.

Kemp made his comments during testimony delivered before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies on April 7. The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Bob Traxler (D-Mich.), began its hearings on setting appropriations levels for the housing and community development laws that are set to expire September 30, 1992.

Kemp's remarks were in support of the budget request contained in the Administration's version of a housing reauthorization bill, the Opportunity and Empowerment Act of 1992. The bill calls for Congress to support $1 billion for the Homeownership Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE) which would allow tenants of public housing to purchase their units. It also allows public housing tenants to decide who should own and/or manager their development.

Kemp supported the President's budget request of $1 billio for HOPE calling it the "centerpiece of the National Affordable Housing Act (NAHA)." NAHA was signed into law in 1990 and created HOPE and HOME, the state and local housing block grant program.

The administration proposes paying for HOPE by reducing the funding level for the HOME state and local block grant program by 54 percent. HOME was appropriated $1.5 billion by Congress for FY 1992. For fiscal year 1993, the administration is asking for $700 million for HOME.

Kemp said they would increase the HOME figure by $250 million if the match provision is restored. HOME requires local governments to provide a match as a condition to participating in the program. Due to the recession, Congress granted a one year, across the board waiver of the match requirement.

The Secretary also called for funding to issue 10,000 homeownership vouchers to allow low income people to use vouchers to pay mortgages. Eligibility criteria for vouchers assistance would remain the same as would the cash value of the subsidy whether it was used for rental costs or homeownership costs.
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Title Annotation:Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Jack Kemp; Homeownership Opportunities for People Everywhere
Author:Barreto, Julio
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 13, 1992
Words:344
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