HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) – Activists in Pennsylvania are decrying the demise of mortgage assistance programs at both the state and federal levels.

First, Pennsylvania’s Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, HEMAP, was gutted in the new budget. Funding was reduced to $2 million and no new applications are being accepted. And a federal mortgage aid program ends Friday. As he addressed a rally in the state capitol rotunda Tuesday, Philadelphia’s Vincent Hughes — the ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee – blasted Governor Corbett for not using surplus funds from the previous budget to keep the state program going.

“We had enough money, and what did this governor do? He said, ‘the hell with you all!’”

But spokesman Eric Shirk says Corbett argued that most of the surplus should be put aside for unforeseen circumstances.

“And he was right because we may need to use some extra money in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.”

Activists want $15 million dollars for the program.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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