Mayor Henry Voices Concern Over Proposed Federal Budget

March 27, 2017

CEO/Executive Director, George Guy met with Mayor Henry and other community leaders to discuss the proposed federal budget.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Mayor Tom Henry of Fort Wayne held a news conference with several community leaders Wednesday afternoon to discuss the potential impact of the proposed federal budget.

During the news conference Mayor Henry gave several examples of how if passed in its current form the budget might negatively impact citizens:

  • Potential loss of $1.8 million yearly in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $775,000 yearly in HOME Investment Partnerships Program dollars to support residents of low- or moderate-incomes to help provide safe and affordable housing, necessary infrastructure, vital services and public facilities for our residents.
  • Cuts to essential services – transportation, schools, public broadcasting, social service agencies and neighborhoods.

“To have a proposal before Congress as a proposed budget that strips almost all of these services is to me inhumane,” Henry said.

Brightpoint would potentially suffer some of the greatest losses in the community if the budget passes. President and CEO Steve Hoffman said the organization could lose up to $7 million in federal funding, shutting down the energy assistance program.

“Eight thousand households would not get their heating assistance,” Hoffman said. “Half of those are seniors or are disabled that really count on that to get them through the year. They’re on a fixed income.”

Hoffman said after meeting with the more than two dozen community leaders, he’s staying hopeful.

“This budget impacts so many people, whether its directly or indirectly and so I think we need to get together and make our voice heard and that’s what I’m hoping we got from today,” Hoffman said. “We definitely seem to have a unified voice.”

Henry said the group will continue to meet and urge Congress to not cut the vital funds. He said he plans on reaching to Vice President Mike Pence about the matter.

“I continue to be encouraged by the momentum and investments we’re experiencing. By working together, we’ve positioned Fort Wayne as a point of destination for individuals, families and businesses. We’re a community that’s on the move and ready to make a lasting impact. However, recent budget proposals and discussions in Washington are cause for concern,” said Mayor Henry. “We’re urging Congress to oppose any reductions to programs and initiatives that help build better and stronger communities,” said Mayor Henry.

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