The partial federal government shutdown, now at three weeks, is harming families and housing, with greatest impacts on low-income families served by affordable housing.
Right: NLIHC map of expired or expiring HUD project-based rental assistance contracts. Explore NLIHC's interactive map.
Our poorest families, living in HUD-subsidized properties, are at tremendous risk. These residents could face eviction and homelessness, as the government has failed to pay contracts with private property owners. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has provided detailed information on impacts, including to public housing programs like Section 8 and housing for the elderly (Section 202), including expiring contracts which put housing for thousands at risk.
Rural housing programs, along with the families that depend on them, have unique concerns, as tracked by the National Rural Housing Coalition. For instance, construction of affordable housing has been stopped in its tracks, with approved projects unable to move forward.
"The longer the shutdown continues, the more the lowest income people will be hard hit,” said National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Residents living in HUD-subsidized properties are some of our country’s most vulnerable people... and [they] rely on government assistance to remain housed. A prolonged government shutdown puts them at increased risk of eviction and potentially homelessness. It’s incredibly reckless to risk the homes of our country’s lowest-income and most vulnerable people as perceived leverage for a border wall.”
Native communities face unique impacts as the shutdown continues. As reported by The New York Times, treaties signed decades ago require the United States government to guarantee funds for services like health care and education, in exchange for land. These guarantees for services are now unpaid. “For many Americans who are not federal workers or contractors, a shutdown is a minor inconvenience," The New York Times reported. "A trip to a national park may be canceled. A call to a government office may go unanswered. But for Native American tribes, which rely heavily on federal money to operate, a shutdown can cripple their most basic functions.”
Call your lawmakers!
Urge your lawmakers to end the government shutdown by passing full-year spending bills that provide strong funding levels to affordable housing programs as soon as possible. You can find your elected officials here.
Share impacts of the government shutdown with MHP