Clock is ticking: Government shutdown could impact housing

We are now a week into the federal government shutdown and things remain the same. Vital programs and services remain shuttered, impacting everyday people across the country.

With most of our federally mandated programs “excepted,” Los Angeles County’s operations remain virtually unhindered by the shutdown, but the clock is ticking on several key programs.

If the shutdown continues into November, the County’s food stamps and Calworks (welfare) programs will expire, and we will need to find other resources to continue providing these essential public assistance programs.

Also, two of the County’s public housing programs will be impacted. The Community Development Commission, which receives federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be unable to maintain the housing choice voucher program, better known as Section 8, unless a congressional resolution is passed. The Public Housing Program will also no longer be able to distribute funds, and currently only has four months of reserves available to tap into if the shutdown continues. Families, no longer able to make ends meet, will be forced out of their homes into shelters or the streets.

The government shutdown is already hurting this country with furloughs and cuts to services. In just over three weeks, without a resolution, people will lose the programs necessary to their livelihood. The dysfunction in Washington will cost them their sources of food, shelter and income.