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THE URBAN COALITION ACTION COUNCIL
JOHN W. GARDNER
1819 H STREET, N. W. September 27, 1968
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20006
WEEKLY LEGISLATIVE REPORT
Housing. Final action on appropriations for the HUD
Department was taken September 25 when the Senate agreed to
the disappointingly low figures for key housing programs
without dissent. (For figures, see September 20 Legislative
HUD Under Secretary Robert C. Wood September 25 said
decisions would be made within a week on whether to make
across-the-board reductions or selective cuts in HUD pro-
grams. Congress cut the Department's requested funds by
one-third -- from $3.1 billion to $2.1 billion.
Wood, in an interview with editors of Housing and Urban
Affairs Daily, singled out four programs where the Congressional
cuts especially hurt. These were:
Urban renewal grants. As these are for the next
fiscal year, fiscal 1970, more funds may be sought
Model Cities, for which $625 million instead of
$1 billion was approved.
Urban information and technical assistance -- a
small program to help states and cities carry out
urban projects. Congress refused to grant any of the
$5 million requested for the program.
Fair housing enforcement, for which all funds were
denied on grounds HUD already had sufficient personnel
working in the civil rights field. The $9 million the
Senate had provided would have enabled HUD to hire
about 690 investigators across the country to enforce
the new fair housing requirements written into law in
Several organizations have protested the denial of funds
to enforce the fair housing act and there is a possibility
that HUD will ask Congress to reconsider its action. This .
hinges, however, on a decision the Administration must make
soon on whether to send requests for supplemental appropri-
TELEPHONE: 202 293-1530 2 S>@
ations to Congress this fall. Although that is the usual
procedure late in the session, the economy mood in Congress
May be so strong just before elections that the Administration
will not ask for additional money.
The major new programs in the 1968 housing law will be
delayed at least six months if no supplemental appropriations
are requested from or voted by Congress.
HUD Personnel. Another factor that might delay the new
housing programs is the Congressional directive in June that
HUD, and all other federal agencies, cut back on their per- .
sonnel. HUD had hoped to add 1,600 employees this year.
Instead, it will have to reduce its staff by 900 -- not by
firing employees but by filling only 7 out of 10 vacancies
that develop as employees resign or retire.
Senator John Sparkman (D Ala.), chairman of the Senate's
Housing Subcommittee, tried unsuccessfully September 23 to
win Senate approval of an exemption for HUD from the personnel
cutback. Unfortunately, exemptions for other agencies were
tacked onto Sparkman's amendment and the major sponsor of the
personnel cutback, Senator John Williams (R Del.), fought the
amendment bitterly. It was defeated, 23-37. =
It is anticipated that another attempt will be made to
exempt HUD from the severe personnel limitations before
Education, Labor and Antipoverty Funds. Final appropri-
ations for education, manpower training and antipoverty pro-
grams will be announced September 30. Members of the House
and Senate Appropriations Committees compromised their differ-
ences in a September 26 meeting but withheld announcement of
the sums agreed upon. The differences in key appropriations
were listed in Appendix B of the September 13 Legislative Report.
Head Start. Members of the House and Senate education
committees, meeting in conference on the vocational education
bill, have agreed to drop an amendment by Senator Peter
Dominick (R Colo.) that would have transferred the Head Start
program to HEW's Office of Education. The program will con-
tinue to be run by the independent antipoverty agency, the
Office of Economic Opportunity. Under the final version of
the vocational education bill, the President is asked to have
a study made of how Head Start can best be administered and
to report to Congress next spring.