In a Letter to President Trump and HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Rosen Demands End to Government Shutdown, Citing Harmful Ramifications for Homeowners

WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined her House and Senate Democratic colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. In the letter, Members expressed their concerns regarding the harmful impacts the government shutdown is having on Americans in need of housing assistance. The partial shutdown is affecting both short-term operations and long-term viability of affordable housing programs that serve over four million Americans, the majority of whom are seniors and people with disabilities living on a fixed income.

“An immediate result of the shutdown is that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been forced to scramble to find funds to renew federal contracts for 650 project-based rental assistance properties, housing tens of thousands of low-income renters, that have expired since the government shutdown began,” wrote Members. “The American people should not be used as leverage, or be held hostage, to fulfill a political agenda. The longer this shutdown extends, the more harm will be done to seniors, families with children, people with disabilities, and other Americans who rely on these programs. We urge you to end this shutdown and provide immediate relief to Americans being impacted by this funding crisis.”

Read text of the letter here or below: 
Dear President Trump:

We write to express our deep concern regarding the harmful impacts the current government shutdown is having on the ability of Americans to afford their homes. This partial shutdown is undermining both the short-term operations and long-term viability of our affordable housing programs that serve over four million Americans, the majority of whom are seniors and people with disabilities living on a fixed income. For the sake of the families whose homes are at stake, we urge you to end the shutdown and protect the American people.

An immediate result of the shutdown is that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been forced to scramble to find funds to renew federal contracts for 650 project-based rental assistance properties, housing tens of thousands of low-income renters, that have expired since the government shutdown began. Additional contracts will expire later in January and February, should the shutdown continue, as HUD does not have funding to renew contracts while the government is shut down. HUD proposes that private owners use their individual funding reserves, where available, to cover shortfalls. The longer the shutdown continues, the more untenable this guidance becomes.

Additionally, the shutdown will delay public housing authorities from receiving funding to help address pressing capital needs, such as fixing boilers and repairing leaking roofs. Funding is also dwindling for grants that support developmental projects and programs in local communities that depend on such funding to serve low-income families. Finally, the lapse in federal funding is curbing economic growth as more Americans are unable to purchase homes due to the Federal Housing Authority’s (FHA) delay in processing loans.

The American people should not be used as leverage, or be held hostage, to fulfill a political agenda. The longer this shutdown extends, the more harm will be done to seniors, families with children, people with disabilities, and other Americans who rely on these programs. We urge you to end this shutdown and provide immediate relief to Americans being impacted by this funding crisis. In these times of uncertainty and tension, we must continue to prioritize the American people. We owe it to the people we serve to choose their best interest over politics.

Sincerely,
 

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