Sequester could reduce three Washington County Redevelopment programs
The Washington County Redevelopment Authority could see money for three programs aimed at helping low-income residents, the homeless and communities reduced because of federal across-the-board spending cuts known as “the sequester.”
William McGowen, redevelopment authority executive director, told the county commissioners Wednesday, “It looks like with sequester we’re going to be taking a 5 percent hit.”
The money comes to the authority from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
According to a breakdown McGowen provided, $161,263 could be lost to the Community Development Block Grant program, used by boroughs and townships to pay for projects ranging from street repaving to making municipal buildings accessible to the disabled.
The authority was expecting to receive $3,225,279 in July for the spate of projects across the county.
The Home program, which includes housing for the low-income elderly and rehabilitation of property, could see $26,113 disappear from its anticipated allocation of $522,267.
The Emergency Solutions Grant, which provides emergency shelter for the homeless through the county Human Services department, could be reduced $16,880 from its budget of $337,615.
“It’s so squooshy right now because it depends on what Congress does,” McGowen said. “We won’t get the money until July.”
County Commissioner Larry Maggi said of the proposed cuts, “It’s very concerning, but everybody’s got to sacrifice a little bit. It’s unfortunate if you’re using these services, but people are wanting to cut and that’s what’s going on now.”
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