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Government Shutdown Ends Housing Help

As the budget battle between the President and Congress drags on, many government assistance programs that help with housing have paused due to lack of funding! Learn how your rent and housing payments may be affected by the longest government shutdown in history.



Until our elected officials find compromise and approve additional funds, many government housing programs are out of commission. America's poorest citizens, including the elderly, disabled, and low-income families, are being put further at risk. Some may face eviction soon. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which offers rental assistance, housing vouchers, and other public housing programs, is one of the top agencies directly impacted by this crisis. Millions of people relying on housing aid may not receive the funding they are expecting.

What About Rent Money?
The Section 8 Housing Choice Program supplements rent payments by making up the difference between what's available for rent locally and what renters can afford based on federal poverty levels. Unfortunately, these rental payments to landlords may not come on time, or even at all, further jeopardizing those less fortunate. By February, federal and local agencies report that they may have no funding for tenants.[1] Renters will be expected to cover the full cost of rent or face eviction.

Will I Be Evicted?
It is true that millions of seniors and families could face eviction with the continuance of halted government funding.[2] Even though the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development sent letters asking landlords not to evict tenants with Section 8 vouchers, without rental income, how do the landlords make ends meet? They may be forced to make decisions that will put some tenants on the street. We highly recommend that every person potentially affected by this budget battle research available options as soon as possible. Don't be the last family to look for alternative help.

Home Repairs & Inspections
Since the 22nd of December, most federal housing employees are facing work stoppages, are going without pay, and are not available to respond to emails, answer calls, and assist residents with issues and concerns.[3] That means you can forget about health and safety inspections continuing on schedule, despite the fact that they are considered important and mandatory for good reasons. Unsafe living conditions are (sadly) all too common in public housing environments. Small children and seniors are often living with mold infestations and other unsafe conditions. Repairs to leaky roofs, non-functioning water heaters, and faulty furnaces have also largely stopped.[4] It is unfortunate that more children and senior citizens have no options, but to remain in unsafe living conditions without the help of vital government-funded programs. Many Americans may be facing a cold, harsh winter, if government funding does not resume quickly.

Emergency Housing Assistance
Emergency housing help is still accessible, thankfully, and a few employees are on the payroll to respond to emergencies as they arise, but for how long? No one is certain what will occur if the standoff does not come to an end, but the effects are going to place more pressure on those receiving government assistance. If you are without housing, please contact your local HUD agency immediately for emergency housing assistance, such as disasters and homelessness.

Is The End In Sight?
The potential impact of these matters on Americans receiving subsidized government housing help simply cannot be overstated. 800,000 families and individuals are struggling to make mortgage and rent payments. Some may soon face foreclosure and eviction. These programs need to be funded now! Staff needs to be back at work. Every day these matters continue, people will be hurt.

At some point, the government will reopen, but it won't be business as usual. The shutdown could have lasting effects considering the late payments to landlords and all the new deals with private lenders and landlords that collapsed as a result of the crisis. Institutions and investors alike may be skeptical in the future of entering into housing contracts involving unstable government-funded programs, leaving even fewer options for low-income citizens.

Be Prepared.
It's crucial you prepare yourself and your family for times like these when government assistance programs default to their contingency plans. Locate contact information and vital resources for additional low-income housing help on our site. Explore your rental assistance options and find eviction and foreclosure tips. Prepare a strategy with up-to-date, trustworthy, and well-researched information.