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Public Housing Authorities urge their clients to tell Congress to end government shutdown
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Sunday Jan 13th, 2019 7:09 PM
There appears to be some confusion regarding HUD funding to the Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). Some PHAs believe that HUD will fund the Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) through February, other PHAs are not certain if they will receive funding from HUD for February!
Public Housing Authorities urge their clients to tell Congress to end government shutdown

PHAs give notice that payments to Section 8 landlords may be delayed in March

By Lynda Carson - January 13, 2019

As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history inflicts pain and suffering across the nation, Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) are urging section 8 landlords and section 8 voucher tenants (Housing Choice Voucher tenants) to contact their representatives in Congress to tell them to end the government shutdown.

As a result of Trump’s government shutdown that seems to have no end in sight, some Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) are also posting notices on their websites stating that the housing assistance payments (HAP payments) to section 8 landlords (Housing Choice Voucher Program landlords), may be delayed in March.

On the website of the Allegheny County Housing Authority (ACHA) in Pittsburgh, PA, a message reads: “As you are aware, we are in the midst of a partial government shut-down. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enough money to ensure February payments (Housing Assistance Payment and Utility Allowance Payment) will be available for payment. However, HUD does not currently have enough money to make the Housing Assistance and Utility Allowance Payments for March in the event the government shut down continues.

Allegheny County Housing Authority urges everyone to make their voices heard to Congress. Congress must agree to a funding bill. Now is the time to reach out to your Congressional Representatives and demand that a fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for HUD be passed.”

According to the records of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), ACHA has 5,587 units in their section 8 inventory, and manages 47 developments with 3,466 units in its low rent inventory.

In a message on the website of the DuPage Housing Authority (DHA), in Wheaton, Illinois, it reads, “If the shutdown continues after February 28, 2019, no federal funding has been approved at this time to be able to pay monthly subsidy (rent) to landlords beginning with the March 1, 2019 payments. DHA will also not have funding approved to make escrow payments for the Family Self-sufficiency (FSS) participants.”

It also said: “In the meantime we ask that you contact your Congressional and US Senate representatives to demand for the shut-down to end and the federal government reopened.”

However, the DHA does not anticipate that Trump’s government shutdown will last long, even though the shutdown is the longest government shutdown in U.S. History.

According to the records of HUD, the DHA has 2,977 units in its section 8 inventory.

On January 11, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) posted a notice on their website stating: “If the shutdown lasts into February, March 2019 housing assistance payments for the Housing Choice Voucher program may be delayed. HACA understands the impact that a delay in housing assistance payments may cause.  In the past, when there have been government shutdowns housing assistance payments were made retroactively, although it is not possible to know if that will be the case with this shutdown. We respectfully encourage property owners and managers to work with residents to minimize the risks of displacement to families served through the Housing Choice Voucher Program.”

According to the records of HUD, HACA has 5,550 units in its section 8 inventory, and they manage 14 developments including 344 units in its low rent inventory.

Reportedly, the Hot Springs Housing Authority (HSHA) in Illinois will not be able to make its March payments to section 8 landlords if the government shutdown continues into March.

Reportedly, “Richard Herrington of HSHA said thousands of residents who live in the area's 658 tenant-based Section 8 properties will be affected if the shutdown extends into March, as his agency will have exhausted its allocation of housing-assistance payments it receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

In a message posted on January 11, on the website of the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority (SNRHA), the housing authority made the effort to keep landlords and tenants in the Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) from going into a state of panic.

The message stated: “We have recently learned that HUD will not have funding for the Public Housing Operating Fund or for Housing Choice Voucher payments in March if the shutdown continues much longer. This would have a particularly devastating impact on recipients of Housing Choice Vouchers, many of whom could find themselves in the situation of either having to pay the full rent due on their own or face eviction.

The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority is prepared to use some unrestricted reserves to ensure operations continue uninterrupted if the shutdown continues beyond funding availability from HUD.”

The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority (SNRHA), helps to provide housing assistance to low-income, elderly, and disabled renters in the Las Vegas area. According to HUD’s records, SNRHA has 9,631 units in its Section 8 inventory, and it manages 24 developments that include 2,431 units in its low rent inventory.

In Fort Worth, Texas, in a message on the housing authority website, it read: “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is among nine federal agencies impacted by the government shutdown. HUD provides 100% of the funding to agencies that administer the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. It is through this formula allocation that the federal government provides budget authority to issue Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to private market landlords who make units available for families participating in the HCV program.   As you already know, these are some of our city’s most vulnerable people; many are seniors on fixed-incomes, people with disabilities and families with children.

The partial shutdown of the federal government, if continued, may delay future Housing Assistance Payments to landlords.  We have been informed, however, that HUD’s current funding levels will allow for timely HAP disbursements to private market landlords through the month of February.  We will keep you informed as we learn more, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.”

There Appears To Be Some Confusion Regarding HUD Funding To The Public Housing Authorities:

There appears to be some confusion regarding HUD funding to the Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). Some PHAs believe that HUD will fund the Section 8 voucher program (Housing Choice Voucher Program) through February, other PHAs are not certain if they will receive funding from HUD for February.

Reportedly, in a January 11, news report involving John Clarke, executive director of the New Brunswick Housing Authority in New Jersey, “If the shutdown lasts to the end of the month (January), authority employees could be furloughed and hundreds of landlords in New Brunswick and neighboring Franklin Township would fail to receive payments through the section 8 housing subsidy program, said John Clarke, executive director of the housing authority.”

According to a January 8, 2019, letter from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), to some of our nation’s lawmakers, Trump’s government shutdown has resulted in around 1,150 Section 8-Project Based contracts that were not renewed in December of 2018, affecting around 70,000 to 85,000 low-income households.

As Trump’s government shutdown continues the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) expects around an additional 500 Section 8 Project-Based contracts to expire, and be up for renewal in January. This would affect another 30,000 to 40,000 low-income households. Another 550 Section 8 Project-Based contracts are expected to be up for renewal in February.

Reportedly, “House Democrats are using their new oversight authority to investigate the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s management of the shutdown, as questions mount about HUD's failure to renew low-income housing contracts for more than 1,000 properties across the country."

If Trump’s government shutdown continues after February, millions of section 8 voucher renters (Housing Choice Voucher renters) will be placed at risk of higher rents or eviction, because HUD does not have any funding to cover the Section 8 voucher program in March.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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Update: Subsidized tenants face eviction Jan. 20 by landlordLynda CarsonSunday Jan 13th, 2019 10:10 PM