Shut down, shut out: Expiring HUD contracts threaten low-income families

As usual, Republican temper tantrums hurt the poor first and hardest:

"Funding these contracts is necessary to keep about 150, 000 deeply poor, mostly seniors and people with disabilities safely and affordably housed," said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Yentel worries that, with President Trump and Congressional Democrats at an impasse over border wall funding, the government will not reopen anytime soon. And that may force property owners to make business decisions that could adversely impact tenants. "Eventually these owners will have to resort to either significant rent hikes or evictions of these lowest-income renters," Yentel said.

Take a closer look at that map. North Carolina is literally blanketed with already expired or soon to be expired HUD contracts. Each dot represents dozens if not hundreds of folks who may be forced out of their homes because the Republican Party can't or won't keep their spoiled rich brat under control. More details:

These lapses impact Project-Based Rental Assistance agreements between private property owners and the federal government. These landlords are contracted to house low and very low-income residents. The property owner charges tenants modest rents and HUD kicks in subsidies to make up the difference.

While the expired contracts so far only account for about 5 percent of HUD's project-based contracts, it is causing concern that more of the 1.2 million low income families housed in these multifamily properties will be in danger of losing homes as the shutdown lingers.

In a letter to landlords earlier this month, first reported by the Washington Post, HUD urged property owners to dip into their reserve accounts "to cover funding shortfalls" as a way to try to keep tenants in place.

In Charlotte alone, there are some 55 Section(8) or otherwise HUD-subsidized apartment complexes, with thousands of poor families occupying them. Resources for the homeless in that city are already insufficient, and a failure of the Federally-funded low-income housing system would be catastrophic.