In what is now the longest ever government shutdown in American history, thousands of Bronx residents are at risk of eviction as HUD Project-Based Rental Assistance contracts have expired.
During the government shutdown these contracts, which help pay the differences in rents for thousands of very low, low and low income residents as well as seniors and people with disabilities, cannot be renewed.
By the end of the week, almost 900 units across 10 buildings throughout The Bronx will be impacted as contracts expired in December and January for these buildings.
If the shutdown doesn’t end by February that number will be 944 in 11 buildings.
HUD has already sent letters to property owners urging landlords to dip into their reserves to prevent entering tenants into eviction proceedings but this is not enforceable nor guaranteed.
“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.
So as Trump continues to have his child-like tantrums, our country continues to suffer and sink deeper into despair with 800,000 federal workers unpaid since December 22nd and the millions more impacted by the government shutdown.
We can only hope that this ends quickly and swiftly so that the most vulnerable are saved from worst-case scenarios like homelessness and evictions.