I would like to thank the Chairman for convening this hearing. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the Administration's Fiscal Year 2003 budget request and legislative proposals for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
During my tenure as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation I have consistently stressed the importance of outcome based management. I am extremely pleased to see that the Administration's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2003 begins to incorporate this principle.
I would like to highlight several key passages from the budget:
"Increases in spending are assumed to reflect high priorities and reductions reflect low priorities. This is because everyone takes for granted that more government spending will translate into more and better government services...The assumption that more government spending gets more results is not generally true and is seldom tested... The initiative to integrate budget and performance has an important purpose–to improve programs by focusing on results. Dollars will go to programs that work; those programs that don't work will be reformed, constrained, or face closure... Good intentions and good beginnings are not the measure of success. What matters in the end is completion: performance and results."
As I have noted at previous hearings, government agencies should be judged by results, not by the size of their budgets or the number of new programs. The success of HUD will be determined by how many people it helps to achieve self-sufficiency, not by how much money it spends.
I am pleased with a number of initiatives in the budget. In particular, I would like to praise the Administration for its focus on homeownership. Through a number of proposals, this budget will help boost the national homeownership rate beyond its current record level. Not only does this emphasis help more families achieve the American dream of homeownership, it also makes important strides in moving families towards self-sufficiency.
Also, the Administration proposes to combine several of the homeless assistance programs to eliminate duplication and increase flexibility. I have long advocated such an approach and am pleased to see its inclusion.
I believe that the funding proposal for the SHOP program also is a step in the right direction. I am a strong supporter of "self-help" programs, and organizations like Habitat for Humanity provide a clear example of how successful this model can be. This program is a standard of how the Administration is prioritizing funding for programs that have proven successful.
I would like to conclude by welcoming the witnesses to today's hearing. Their comments will be helpful as the appropriations process moves forward, and as the Banking Committee considers the Administration's legislative proposals.
In particular, I would like to welcome Secretary Martinez back to the Banking Committee. I have enjoyed working with you on housing matters over the past year, and I look forward to continuing that good work this year.
Again, thank you to all of the witnesses for being here today. I look forward to your testimony.