Effects of Shutdown on HUD

On the morning of October 1, federal employees were required to show up for work to implement steps to close down federal activities. HUD’s shutdown contingency plan left fewer than 400 employees “excepted” from the shutdown to ensure that basic activities occur. The criteria for an activity to be excepted is “where the failure to address issues result in a threat to safety of life and protection of property.” Excepted activities include most functions of homeless assistance programs, the distribution of HUD block grants, and FHA insurance programs.HUD’s largest rental assistance programs (tenant-based rental assistance, public housing, and project-based rental assistance) appear to have previously-obligated funding or advance appropriations funding to continue normal operations through October and, for the project-based program, “into November,” according to an October 2 update of HUD’s Contingency Plan. HUD also says in the October 2 update that it will continue to process project-based contract renewals during the shutdown to the extent there is available funding into November. An October 4 memo from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states that since funding for the public housing and housing choice voucher programs are made for calendar years, Congress has already appropriated these resources. It is now a matter of whether or not HUD will have sufficient staff due to the shutdown to administer these funds. The administration of funds may fall under HUD’s plan to deploy staff excepted from the shutdown to prevent imminent threats to the safety of human life or the protection of property.For tenant-based rental assistance, HUD has disbursed October housing assistance payments and administrative fees, but there are no payments beyond October scheduled at this time. HUD is not processing requests for tenant protection vouchers for public housing or multifamily actions.HUD’s contingency plan predicts that most of the country’s 3,300 public housing agencies (PHAs) have the necessary funds to continue providing public housing assistance for the remainder of the month. Funding beyond October will depend in part upon the resources of individual PHAs. Homeless Assistance activities that “protect against imminent threats to the safety of human life” are continuing, including housing for people with AIDS and supportive housing for veterans. HUD will disburse HOME Investment Partnerships program, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and other block grants for which funds have already been appropriated. View HUD’s contingency plan for additional details on agency functions that will continue or have already halted at: http://www.hud.gov View the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ October 4 Memo on the shutdown’s impact on housing programs at: http://bit.ly/176QLiz