Yesterday at the Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance Meeting we learned a little more about the impact of the Federal Government shutdown on housing and homeless programs. The FHA is still in business doing verification of home loans, unfortunately, the IRS is not in business to verify income. This will grind the home sales market to a standstill eventually. No one is working at HUD to sign off on projects currently under construction. It makes it difficult to pay construction and tradesmen working on subsidized housing projects locally. Contrary to popular belief there are affordable housing projects being developed locally. There are permanent supportive housing projects that are supposed to open this winter, but there is no one at HUD to sign off on the work.
The Housing Authority has money available through the end of the calendar year for Public Housing. The voucher program only has funds through the end of October. No one knows what will happen after the witching hour of Halloween. Will staff be furloughed? Will rents be paid to landlords? Will there be an attempt to prioritize which bills to pay. There are already a mythology in the community about voucher holders and the impact on the neighborhoods with only half the available properties willing to accept a tenant receiving a subsidy from the Housing Choice Voucher program. This would certainly cause harm to the organization and their image in the community if they run out of money because of the government shutdown.
More to come...
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