As the federal government partial shutdown continues to drag on, multifamily housing owners across the country are feeling its impact and consumers are increasingly concerned that this unprecedented crisis of governing could literally impact their ability to remain in their homes. While the National Housing Conference (NHC) is not aware of anyone who has lost their home as a result of the shutdown yet, anxiety is high and multifamily property managers and owners are under increasing pressure as their reserves shrink. If the shutdown continues into February, the situation will deteriorate due to non-payments to owners of federally subsidized properties, as was noted in a comprehensive legal analysis written by the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) staff.
As noted by the NHLP, “most residents should see little to no disruption in housing services at this time because rental assistance payments are expected to continue through February. However, if the shutdown continues past the end of February, the situation dramatically deteriorates due to non-payments to almost all owners.” NHC will continue to regularly update our members should the shutdown continue past this week.
NHC urges all managers of federally subsidized homes to continue to work closely with USDA and HUD to ensure that none of their residents are evicted due to the partial government shutdown, now in its fifth week. NHC believes that continued communication and common sense are critical to avoid anyone having to lose their home. “The vast majority of property managers impacted by the shutdown are doing everything they can to cope with this crisis. No one should face eviction as the result of this unnecessary failure of government,” Dworkin said.
Recent media stories identified two property managers who intimidated low-income tenants by taping threatening letters onto the doors of their federally subsidized units in an attempt to bully them into paying the government portion of their rent. “Tenants and property managers need to know their rights and responsibilities. We encourage anyone facing this kind of intimidation to contact your local tenant rights advocacy organization or legal aid society. They may also reach out directly to NHC at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Another major factor that is looming for unpaid federal workers is the likely failure of the federal government to issue a second consecutive paycheck at the end of this week. Rent and mortgage payments are due on Feb. 1 putting hundreds of thousands of people at risk of defaulting on their payments. NHC is committed to providing informative, relevant and carefully researched information to our members and the general public on the current and potential impacts of this unnecessary and irresponsible crisis. NHC is currently working with our members on a comprehensive set of guidelines for federal workers and contractors who may be at risk of missing their Feb. 1 housing payment.
About NHC: The National Housing Conference has been defending the American Home since 1931. We believe everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership and the broader housing and community development sectors to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Politically diverse and nonpartisan, NHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.