The House Financial Services Committee wants to cut off all federal funding for NeighborWorks America, which supports hundreds of community-based groups that provide safe and decent housing for low-income families.

Last year, Congress appropriated $133 million for the government-chartered organization. NeighborWorks also specializes in training housing counselors. (Last year Congress distributed $65 million to counseling agencies as part of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Program.)

As outlined in the committee's oversight plan, Republican leaders are recommending the transfer of NeighborWorks' counseling operations to a newly created Housing Counseling Office in the Department of the Housing and Urban Development.

"Moreover, many of the tasks that NeighborWorks currently performs are duplicative of existing HUD programs and can be consolidated, which could eliminate the need for the annual appropriation for NeighborWorks," the oversight plan says.

The full committee has scheduled a markup and vote on the oversight plan Thursday (Feb. 10). "NeighborWorks America is a critical part of a highly successful locally driven effort to bring private sector, nonprofit business and government resources to bear on community development issues," said NeighborWorks spokesman Douglas Robinson.

"For each dollar of public support, we leverage many, many dollars of additional investment, helping to create opportunities for thousands of individuals and families," he said.

The government chartered NeighborWorks 30 years ago. Its board of directors includes federal banking regulators and HUD officials.

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