With cities struggling financially, details of the $40 billion in budget cuts, released yesterday by the House Appropriation Committee, were not a welcome sight. And programs that are working to make our cities more sustainable were especially hampered.
Here are some of the important cuts that will affect cities:
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Fund program was reduced by $942 million.
- Transportation, housing, urban development, and related agencies are reduced by 18 percent of last year's budget.
- Cuts $2.9 billion from high speed rail, including the $400 million that Florida declined.
- Transit funding cut by $991 million, including a $502 million cut to the New Starts transit program and a $72 million to the popular TIGER grant program.
- The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is reduced from $150 million to $100 million.
- Eliminates the "urban affairs czar."
What does it all mean? It means high-speed rail is not a priority; expensive transit projects will slow, even with the price of gas climbing even higher. It means that community development projects to provide affordable housing will suffer and brownfield redevelopment will halt.
And with an increasing number of people moving to cities, it's unfortunate that politicians don't see the value of the investing in urban areas.
But with a final vote on the bill is expected in the House and Senate later this week, it looks like cities will have to cut back or get creative with their money.
Photo: Timothy Valentine/Flickr