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Nutter, Sen. Casey Call For Preservation of Community Development Grants

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(Philadelphia housing director Deborah McCollach, left, and US Sen. Robert Casey, right, listen as Mayor Michael Nutter speaks about community development block grant funding on Monday at Philadelphia City Hall.  Photo by Steve Tawa)

(Philadelphia housing director Deborah McCollach, left, and US Sen. Robert Casey, right, listen as Mayor Michael Nutter speaks about community development block grant funding on Monday at Philadelphia City Hall. Photo by Steve Tawa)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Some area politicians are trying to get Congress to preserve community development block grant (“CDBG”) funding rather than slash it.

Philadelphia could see more than $36 million in block grant funding hit the chopping block.  The Republican-led US House wants to cut block grant funding by 66 percent, but US senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) hopes cooler heads will prevail in the Senate.

“The idea that the only way to reduce spending is to do it on the backs of those who are vulnerable just doesn’t add up,” Casey told reporters today at Philadelphia City Hall.

Mayor Michael Nutter blames politics inside the Washington beltway.

“This is sheer insanity,” the mayor said.  “You cannot run a government on slogans, in campaign mode.  It is now time to govern.”

Deborah McColloch, the director of housing in Philadelphia, says a big chunk of the CDBG effort goes toward helping low-income residents fix their roofs, put in new electrical systems, and repair their plumbing.

“It lets them stay in their homes,” McColloch says.  “t’s really a huge homeless-prevention program.”

One homeowner, James Tyson, took advantage of the mortgage foreclosure diversion program that saved more than 3,500 homes in the city, according to officials.

“If it had not been for the diversion program, I probably would have lost my house,” Tyson said.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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