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Federal budget cuts threaten Nibley’s Maple View subdivision

February 26th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Jessica Wilkinson

CACHE VALLEY–After spending last week in Washington D.C.,  Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation’s Executive Director Kim Datwyler returned home frustrated and discouraged. With the release of President Obama’s  most recent budget proposal, the 2013 fiscal year threatens affordable housing organizations with severe budget cuts.

“It wasn’t very encouraging, I will admit,” Datwyler said. “It doesn’t necessarily give us much hope.”

Anticipating a budget one-third the size of 2012’s, Datwyler explained funding could be decreased from $30 million to $10 million– which, she says, is obviously very significant. Because it is a budget divided all across the nation, very little would be distributed to each individual organization.

In respect to local projects, Nibley’s Maple View subdivision could easily be affected.

“It certainly could have an impact,” Datwyler said of the budget cut’s potentially disturbing upcoming plans. “It’s certainly possible.”

The NNHC is a local organization federally funded by the National Rural Housing Coalition, dedicated to providing quality housing opportunities to those who may not be eligible otherwise. The corporation’s mission is to “enhance communities, and to provide households with the skills to become self sufficient.”

But without reasonable funding, the NNHC is now questioning how this objective can be achieved. This time last year the NNHC was digesting an even more drastic proposal. Obama’s 2012 budget suggested completely eliminating funding for affordable housing programs. This was something the U.S. House approved, but that the Senate was able to overturn. Because of the active communication between upset communities and state officials, the 2012 funding was restored.

Where there was a will, there was a way. Datwyler hopes for the same results this year. She personally encouraged Cache Valley citizens to contact local leaders and complain of the decreased budget, clarifying that the budget cuts would in no way recover the nation’s deficit. She explained that discretionary spending, such as funding for the NRHC, is such a small portion of the nation’s budget that eliminating or decreasing the funds would do nothing more than eradicate a very beneficial program.

“If they really want to address the deficit,” Datwyler said, “they need to look at the whole picture.”

She also explained that there is great opportunity with this being an election year and is confident that this is the time that people need to make their voices heard.  “Advocacy does work,” Datwayler said last month. “Just a phone call or an email makes a difference.”

Contact information for Utah’s senators:

Senator Orrin Hatch — http://hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-orrin

Senator Mike Lee — http://www.lee.senate.gov/contact_form.cfm


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