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There is a cautionary tale in the news that recent cuts in federal spending could derail a much ballyhooed supportive housing project for veterans in Jewett City.
In the works for years, the endeavor would transform the LaFlamme-Kusek American Legion Post 15 building into housing units for homeless veterans. After fits and starts and twists and turns, the $6 million project is finally nearing realization. Or at least that's what everyone thought until House Republicans OK'd $61 billion in budget cuts last week, including about $75 million used as rental assistance for homeless veterans and to help pay for their case management and clinical services. Without that assistance - the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program - the Jewett City project is dead. To make the numbers work, the conversion to veterans housing is dependent on 15 monthly vouchers valued at $875.
Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said Monday that cutting the funds was a mistake caused by the Republican majority's push to make massive cuts without adequate evaluation.
"It was an extremely rushed process where people were really not spending the time they should have in terms of the programs that were going to be affected," said Rep. Courtney, who opposed the cut.
About 200 of the vouchers go to veterans in the state and the funds could, and should, be restored by the Senate.
While Congress must slow the growth in federal spending, lawmakers must first do their homework before deciding how to go about it.