Boston, MA - The government shutdown has lasted approximately four weeks so far, resulting in some concerning outcomes. In Massachusetts, the federal agency that is responsible for distributing housing dollars is now closed for business. Because of this, some people in the housing center are forced to prepare, and even follow through with, contingency plans.
Right now, the state of Massachusetts has 56 housing developments contracted with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that either have expired or are about to expire in the next month or so. A nonprofit organization known as the National Low Income Housing Coalition stated all of this information. They’ve recently asked congressional leaders to restore the lost housing dollars for all. One of the biggest housing concerns right now is those involved in Section 8, also known as the low-income tenants. Many other programs are said to be in jeopardy, too.
The real problem will be in March, if the government shutdown continues without relief. If it does continue, there will be approximately two million voucher holders unable to make rent payments. Agencies such as HUD have pulled their efforts together to send out letters to hundreds of landlords, requesting them to not evict their tenants because of this. In the past, evictions have not happened when the government shuts down, and tenants are hoping nothing changes this time around.
HUD has also requested landlords to help their tenants out by using reserves to fund any shortfalls that may result.
Just in Massachusetts, HUD supports approximately 350,000 people in housing.
Many people in the affordable housing sector have faith that the White House and Congress will pull efforts together to stop the government shutdown before something serious results. Many also have faith that Congress will reimburse companies that spend money to keep tenants in their housing units because of the shutdown, at least that’s what’s happened in the past.
In other news, housing production may have to be stalled due to the fact that tenants and housing sectors do not have money coming in.
So far, this is the longest government shutdown in American history. President Trump stated he is willing to let it go on for months, even years.