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Trump’s government shutdown impact on some affordable housing projects
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Friday Jan 18th, 2019 11:08 PM
A January 16, press release from the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA).
government_20shut_20down_202018-19_20january_201602019statement.pdf_600_.jpg
Trump’s government shutdown impact on some affordable housing projects

By Lynda Carson - January 18, 2019

Oakland - Today is the 28th day of Trump’s partial government shutdown affecting low-income Section 8 Project-Based housing projects across the nation. Projects with expired, and expiring contracts are placing low-income families, the elderly, and disabled at risk because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) failed to renew the contracts before Trump’s government shutdown began on December 22, 2018. This is the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

With no end in sight to the appropriations lapse, Trump’s government shutdown has also affected more than 800,000 federal workers as lawmakers are reportedly trying to bring financial relief to federal workers.

Many Section 8 voucher tenants (Housing Choice Voucher Tenants) are afraid that the Section 8 landlords will evict them if Trump’s partial government shutdown continues, and the Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) fail to make payments to the Section 8 landlords in March.

On January 17, 2019, 170 members of Congress sent a letter to President Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson describing some of the impacts of Trump’s government shutdown on affordable housing across the nation.

Additionally, on January 16, 2019, the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) released a press release stating, “Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments and public housing operating subsidy was made by HUD to the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) in January 2019, and HUD states they will be made in February 2019. In March, HUD has stated, there will be no more available Federal funds and no housing assistance for any program will be made. If no HUD funds are available to be distributed in March, there will be severe impacts to families and property owners assisted by any HUD programs across the nation (Section 8, public housing, Multifamily Project Based Rental Assistance, and a host of other smaller programs). The monthly housing assistance and operating subsidy required for OHA to continue to make payments for units in Oakland under both the Section 8 and public housing programs are just over $22 million dollars per month. At OHA we will first use all funds that we have available to continue to meet our obligation, and anticipate having funds to make housing assistance payments in March. Beyond March, we are looking at securing loans to continue to pay our owners and preserve the tenancy of our participants for as long a possible.” The Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) is the largest provider of affordable housing in the City of Oakland.

Earlier today, the National Housing Law Project of San Francisco (NHLP) also sent out a release about the “Rights of Federally-Assisted Residents during the Government Shutdown,” that really helps to explain in detail what the rights are for tenants in HUD’s subsidized housing programs during Trump’s government shutdown, and who to contact if problems arise.

There are probably a lot of Section 8 tenants (Housing Choice Voucher tenants) across the country that do not know that the Section 8 landlords cannot evict them if a Public Housing Authority (PHA) fails to make the housing assistance payment (HAP) to a landlord on time. According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “The PHA failure to pay the housing assistance payment to the owner is not a violation of the lease between the tenant and the owner. During the term of the lease the owner may not terminate the tenancy of the family for nonpayment of the PHA housing assistance payment.”

Some Of The Latest Section 8 Project-Based Projects With Expiring Contracts Occurring Around January 19, 2019:

According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the following is a list of some of the Section 8 project-based projects with contracts that are expected to expire on January 19, 2019. El Bethel Arms apartments in San Francisco (255 units). San Lorenzo Ruiz Center apartments in San Francisco (147 units). Autumn Glow apartments in San Francisco (15 units). Sierra Gateway Senior Residence in Fresno (80 units). Oroysom Village apartments in Fremont (60 units). Lesley Gardens apartments in Half Moon Bay (64 units). Presidio Village Senior Housing apartments in Pittsburg (104 units). Stonehaven House in Novato (6 units). El Sobrante Silvercrest in El Sobrante (50 units). Gloria Drive Apartments in Sacramento (32 units). Almond Terrace apartments in Manteca (50 units). El Casa Verde apartments in Modesto (142 units).

According to a January 8, 2019, letter from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), to some of our nation’s lawmakers, it explains how Trump’s government shutdown will result in around 1,150 Section 8-Project Based contracts that are expiring and were not renewed, affecting tens of thousands of low-income households across the nation.

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.

Before the partial government shutdown began on December 22, 2018, reportedly President Trump claimed that he would take responsibility for the government shutdown, and Trump said that he would be proud to shut down the federal government. However, since then Trump has been trying to blame the Democrats for the brutal government shutdown that has negatively affected millions of people across the nation.

Reportedly, tomorrow Trump plans to try to get the Democrats engaged in more negotiations.

Meanwhile, there have been protests against Trump’s government shutdown taking place across the nation.

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

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