BOSTON (CBS) – With the government shutdown in full effect, federal workers will owe $438 million in unpaid mortgages and rent for the month of January according to Zillow.com.
And it’s not just federal workers who are impacted by the shutdown. Public housing officials are unsure how long rental assistance payments will keep coming from the government.
Low income residents who rely on the federal program ‘Section 8,’ could be in jeopardy of losing their homes. Next month, the program is set to run out of funding.
“So where is that leaving everybody that live in Section 8 housing, low income housing?” said Section 8 and Snap benefits recipient, Louine McGregor of Dorchester. “Where’s that leaving everybody, if this thing go on for years? All of us are going to be on the street.”
McGregor is the sole provider for her two school-aged grandchildren, who live with her.
“There will be no stretching of the resources,” said Watertown Housing Authority Executive Director Brian Costello. “If the resources don’t come, then we won’t be making housing assistant payments to landlords in our local communities. It’s as simple as that.”
Costello said without funding from HUD, his office, already working with a constrained budget, will be unable to cover rent payments for tenants after February. Forcing some housing authorities to dip into a reserve fund to cover costs.
“For my housing authority, it’s very limiting. I don’t have enough reserves to carry one month’s worth of operating or Section 8 leased housing HAP payment,” said Costello.
President Trump has vowed to keep the shutdown in effect until he gets $5 billion for a border wall.
McGregor is concerned. “That’s what I’m living off of,” she says. “I live on a fixed income. I only get one little check a month. But I’m going to pay where I lay my head at and my grandbabies gotta lay their head at.”
The grandmother is hopeful that she and her grandchildren will remain in their home and not be evicted.