March funds questionable if shutdown continues
By Terry Miller
The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22, 2018. Many peoples’ lives and government departments have been adversely affected.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is one of the departments included in the shutdown. HUD provides the funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (aka, Section 8 Program) operated by the city’s housing department.
According to William Huang, director of housing for Pasadena, there are approximately 1,400 very low income households in Pasadena who receive monthly Section 8 rental assistance. The total rental assistance amount is nearly $1 million per month. Industry experts have indicated HUD has sufficient funds to make the February Section 8 payments to landlords. However, beginning in March it is unclear how HUD will continue to make the payments.
Housing agencies and authorities across the country are anxiously awaiting word from HUD on a solution to this critical matter. U.S. Senators Feinstein and Harris, and U.S. Representative Chu have been informed of the need for HUD to continue making the Section 8 payments. Even if the shutdown continues beyond February the payments prevent Section 8 households from losing their housing or landlords from discontinuing their participation in the program.