The Shutdown Has Real Consequences for RVA’s Residents
The government shutdown, now in its fourth week, continues with no end in sight. Whether or not you believe there is a humanitarian crisis along our country’s border with Mexico, a very real one is brewing closer to home. The longer the shutdown continues, the greater its harm will be; and the lowest income people – seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children – will suffer the most.
Nine out of 15 federal departments with about 800,000 employees are affected by this shutdown, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Because of this, affordable housing programs, such as those administered by HUD, and the low-income people they serve are already being negatively impacted across the country.
The shutdown has real consequences for the Better Housing Coalition, and our most economically vulnerable residents. Among our apartment communities, three of our properties are HUD-funded communities that serve 243 low-income, senior residents. Another 204 housing voucher holders live across 12 other properties in our portfolio. Voucher holders pay a portion of their monthly rent to BHC, and, on a typical month, HUD reimburses BHC for the rest. Should the shutdown continue into February, 447 BHC residents will be impacted, at a cost of nearly $200,000 per month to BHC. HUD has paid its housing contracts for January; however, HUD does not have the funding to renew its contracts while the government is shut down.
BHC is fortunate to have the financial strength to absorb this reduction in revenue for a time; but there are certainly smaller companies who will not be able to absorb the costs. That could force some property owners to make some tough business decisions that could adversely impact tenants.
What can you do? We are hopeful that this stalemate will end soon. You can help by contacting your elected officials and demanding an end to the shutdown. You can find your elected officials easily by entering your zip code here.
The Better Housing Coalition changes lives and transforms communities through high-quality, affordable housing. Consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you!