Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of March 13, 2020, Public Housing Agencies across the nation are closing their doors to the public. Most offices are still running and will communicate by phone, email, or mail. Some offices have drop boxes installed outside, so documents can still be hand-delivered. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, expect a long wait time (days or weeks) for a response. To find your local PHA's contact info, browse by state here.
Millions of low-income renters will find themselves in dire straits if the partial shutdown of the federal government does not end soon. Some affordable housing properties have already had their rental assistance frozen, and most federal housing assistance funding will run out by the end of February.
The federal government enters a partial shutdown as President Trump and his congressional allies press for a wall on the southern border. More Coverage.
Vice President Mike Pence met with Schumer to suggest a compromise of $2.5 billion in border security funding, including money for a border fence. This compromise would fall $2.5 billion short of the President Trump's demands for full border wall funding.
In the absence of a full-year FY19 HUD funding bill in place, Housing Authorities are unable to access capital funds for critical repairs and unit upgrades. The Capital Fund backlog was last estimated in 2010 to be $26 billion. More Coverage.
President Trump rejects Vice President Pence and Senator Schumer's proposals for reopening the government without funding for a wall on the southern border.
House of Representives passes legislative packages to reopen the government without wall funding. Without a provision for the border wall, the bill does not reach the Senate floor.
An estimated two-thirds of affected households are elderly or headed by persons with disabilities; Average household income of affected families is less than $13,000 a year. More Coverage.
HUD accused by Democrat representatives of failing to act on preserving affordable housing during a government shutdown. HUD tells NBC that 1,150 contracts under PBRA had lapsed since the start of the year, an additional 500 will expire by January 31st, and 550 more will expire in February.
House of Representatives votes 244-180 to fund DoT, HUD, USDA. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not bring the bill to a vote.
USDA Rural Development states 700 apartment communities did not receive a renewal of Section 521 Rental Assistance prior to the government shutdown. These rental assistance contracts, due for renewal in February, will not be funded at that time. More Coverage.
President Donald Trump has rejected a short-term legislative fix for the partial government shutdown, declaring he will 'never ever back down.' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declares senate will not override the President's veto.
The measure - approved 237-187 on Wednesday mostly along party lines - is not expected to pass the Senate or be signed into law by the President. The White House says President Donald Trump will veto any bill without provisions for border security.
Sen. Tim Kaine attempted to get consent to take up a House-passed bill that would reopen all agencies except the Department of Homeland Security. McConnell did not explain his objection. This is the third time that McConnell has blocked House-passed government funding bills in the past two weeks.
“This partial shutdown is undermining both the short-term operations and long-term viability of our affordable housing programs that serve over four million Americans, the majority of whom are seniors and people with disabilities living on a fixed income,” the letter states. “For the sake of the families whose homes are at stake, we urge you to end the shutdown and protect the American people.”
The deal would reopen the federal government. Democrats accuse the president of negotiating in bad faith as the administration's attempts to rescind DACA has been blocked in federal court, and a court decision on the administration's right to revoke Temporary Protected Statuses is expected in March.
Senate Majority Leader McConnell announces that the Senate will vote on the deal the President proposed on January 19th. House Speaker Pelosi made clear that Democrats will not trade temporary protections for DACA recipients in exchange for $5.7 billion for a border wall.
Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney has requested that federal agency leaders proide the White House with a list of programs at risk if the shutdown continues into March and April. Many agency leaders already struggling to keep their agencies functioning after a month without essential staff or funding.
The Republican plan would have reopened the government through September and provided the $5.7 Billion the President demanded for building a border Wall. It was rejected with 50 votes for and 47 against. The Democrat plan would have reopened the government temporarily through February 8th and set aside no funding for a border wall. It was rejected with 52 votes for and 44 against. A bill needs 60 votes to succeed in the Senate.
After a 35 day partial shutdown, President Donald Trump and congressional leaders set to seal a short-term deal to reopen the government for three week thrrough February 15th.
Already delayed by a record long shutdown, new voucher recipients and housing authorities are uncertain when assistance will be available. Industry advocates say that it will take time for HUD to understand the impact of the shuitdown. Additionally, PHAs are uncertain about the future of affordable housing funding if the government shuts down again on February 15th.
If the shutdown were to continue, the last Housing Choice Voucher payment HUD is able to make while the shutdown continues is issued to Housing Authorities. Housing Authorities use this funding to pay landlords participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program and reimburse extremely low-income households for utility payments.
Approximately 700 apartment communities across the country will not receive subsidy payments today because their contracts were not renewed prior to the shutdown taking effect. Since Section 515/521 does not have strong tenant protection policies in place, tenants may be at risk of rent increases or eviction. If tenants receive rent increase or eviction notices, they can appeal to USDA. More Coverage.
If the shutdown were to continue, Public Housing Authorities are no longer receiving funds to pay rent subsidies to landlords through the Housing Choice Voucher program. No new vouchers will be issued to low-income families on Housing Choice Voucher waiting lists. Approximately $1.5 billion in landlord checks and tenant utility reimbursement checks will not go out. PHA's will not receive administrative fees.
If the shutdown were to continue, funds for Public Housing operating costs, utility costs, routine maintenance, emergency repairs, and tenant application processing are no longer available for Public Housing Agencies.