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’There is no money beyond February’: Shutdown freezes HUD funds for low-income programs

(Source: WAFF)
Updated: Jan. 14, 2019 at 11:07 PM CST
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(WAFF) - The government shutdown has many people across the Tennessee Valley worrying about how they’re going to make ends meet. Now, there is growing fear among those living in public housing complexes as HUD funding is only guaranteed through February.

“This is the first time in 18 years that we’ve been to this point on a shutdown. So, yeah, slightly worried. As it goes on we’re getting more tense as the days pass," Lance Armstrong said.

Armstrong has been the executive director for the Scottsboro Housing Authority for nearly two decades. He’s been through other shutdowns, but says they don’t compare to what he’s experienced now.

“If the shutdown continues, this is very critical to their everyday life. I mean, you’re talking about having to worry about where you’re going to live...where you’re going to put your head down at night. So, yeah, it’s very important and a critical issue," Armstrong said.

In Scottsboro, they will use reserve funds to help the 175 tenants who get a monthly voucher. In other places like Huntsville, no word on exactly what the plan is but in a statement given to WAFF 48 News they said none of their households have been affected in any way.

“I have children and my and children aren’t going to have any place to go," Mary Beth Rich said. She lives in the Butler Terrace complex in Huntsville.

Those most at risk are single families and the elderly.

Officials urge now isn’t the time to panic, but is the time to plan.

"The people being affected by expiring contracts refers to project-based contracts.  Huntsville Housing Authority (HHA) does not have any project-based contracts at this time; therefore, we have no contracts expiring.  

As of now, none of HHA’s households have been affected by the U.S. Government shutdown in any way.  Before the shutdown, HHA was informed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that our Public Housing and Tenant Based Housing Choice Voucher programs have been funded through February 2019."

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