[Housing Authority] – With the second day of the Federal shutdown in effect, local governments are bracing for the worst. The Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles operates affordable housing programs, such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), which rely on the federal government for its funding. Section 8 provides housing to over 23,000 households in Los Angeles County, including seniors, disabled, homeless, mentally ill and the working poor.
Because the earlier sequester required public housing authorities to draw down reserves from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) earlier in the year, HACoLA funding is nearly exhausted. If the government remains closed through the end of October, HACoLA will be unable to draw down funding to make its Housing Assistance Payments to over 13,000 landlords in November – meaning thousands of County residents may be turned out into the street.
HACoLA also manages over 3,158 units of public and other affordable housing properties at 70 sites located throughout the County. The agency currently has approximately four months of reserves that can be used to cover public housing expenditures from November through February – barring any emergencies that may arise. However, by HUD’s own definition, a public housing authority that has fewer than four months of funding reserves would be considered an “at-risk” agency.
Sean Rogan, HACoLA’s Executive Director stated, “This shutdown and continued uncertainty will result in households losing their vouchers and puts our most vulnerable populations at further risk, such as the homeless, senior and mentally ill. I call on Congress to take action to pass a continuing resolution and stop the shutdown before thousands of families in Los Angeles County face homelessness.”
HACoLA is urging its participants, partners and the public to call their Congressional representatives to urge the passage of a continuing resolution and an end to the shutdown. HACoLA will also continue its efforts to educate and inform decision-makers about the consequences of the shutdown, and the damage that underfunding and sequestration have brought upon program participants.
The Clerk of the House of Representatives maintains addresses and phone numbers of all House members and Committees. This information is also available by calling (202) 225-3121 for the U.S. House Switchboard operator. The U.S. Capitol Switchboard may be reached at (202) 224-3121, where an operator can connect the caller directly with the Senate office requested.
For more information on HACoLA’s programs, call (626) 262-4510.