Dial Dalfred: Public housing during government shutdown

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The concern over housing funding comes on the heels of SNAP, or food stamps benefits, for February scheduled to be issued early because of its uncertain future.

Now, some residents fear being thrown out on street for the government’s portion of the rent not being paid.

The record-long government shutdown is now in its 26th day and public housing recipients are fearing the worst.

Patricia Solomon says, “It’s going to get bad for us because they’re going to start stealing and busting in peoples houses and taking things out of the stores. It doesn’t make any sense. They’re doing it now and it doesn’t make any sense.”

Another man believes the shutdown is unnecessary and causing problems for struggling families.

“You’re going to have more people in the grave, more people in the jail and more people in hospitals than anything if you take away certain things.”

Jennifer Fabacher is the director of housing for Good Homes Property Management. They manage 35 public housing properties in Acadiana.

She says the government shutdown has only had minimal effects on housing.

“HUD has done a fantastic job at circumventing any direct effect. The minimum effect that it has had is some of the contracts that we have had expired”, Fabacher said.

That means the direct funding has run out before contracts were renewed.

But there is a plan in place through what’s called a ‘Reserve for Replacement’ account.

“It’s a savings account, so to speak, and we make monthly deposits to that. They are different for each property so they (HUD) are allowing us to access those reserve funds”.

She says they’re unsure how many times they’ll have to dip into the fund but hopeful it’s only for one month.

In addition to that, she wants to make this clear for tenants: “None of our residents will be affected because of the government shutdown.”

Fabacher says of their 1,075 apartments statewide, no more than two of their contracts expired. 

But, again, residents living there will not be affected.

Fabacher says her department is currently working on a flyer to notify their tenants not to worry during the shutdown.
 

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