An Update (of sorts) on the Government Shutdown and Housing

The government is still without a budget and President Trump has stated he has no plans to sign one. The future for individuals who utilize programs funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), therefore, is tenuous. Hundreds of public housing association (PHA) contracts have already expired and hundreds more will expire within the next month. PHAs run and maintain project-based and voucher programs at a local level. Without funding from the federal government, PHAs cannot pay rent for the low-, very-low-, and extremely-low income individuals enrolled in their programs. Without rent, landlords cannot pay mortgages or taxes, nor can they complete routine maintenance projects. The situation is dire.

Please refer to the below pieces from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) for additional information about the implications of the shutdown.

A letter to the majority and minorities leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate from the NHLIC and other housing advocacy organizations outlining the deleterious effects of the shutdown on housing.

A factsheet outlining the impacts of the shutdown on housing in greater (and more horrifying) detail.

And an interactive map showing expired and expiring public housing contracts throughout the country.

In addition, Affordable Housing Finance provides useful information about how programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) will operate during the shutdown.

This problem is real and requires direct community action. Last week, my mother, who is a recipient of a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), was alarmed by my blog outlining the possible implications of the shutdown for her and other low-income, elderly, and disabled individuals. She is a woman of action and so she immediately contacted her congressman for a constituent meeting. Tomorrow she will appear in a press conference organized by her congressman outlining her concerns and calling residents of Chicago to join her in opposition to the shutdown.

As always, I ask my readers to contact your legislators and let them know you oppose the shutdown, volunteer with housing advocacy organizations, and speak out against removing social services.