HABC Plans to Ask for Special Consideration for Federal Employees in Housing Choice Voucher Program during Shutdown
(BALTIMORE– January 21, 2019) – The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) is asking landlords in the Housing Choice Voucher program to work closely with federal government employees who can’t pay their portion of the rent during the government shutdown.
Under the program, tenants pay approximately 30 percent of their income toward rent. The Housing Authority pays the remainder. The next rent payment is due February 1.
“Landlords will continue to receive the Housing Authority’s portion of the rent payment at the beginning of the month but federal workers may not be in a position to pay their portion,” said HABC Executive Director Janet Abrahams. “We have 162 federal employees living in homes being supported by our voucher program. They have enough stresses on their lives right now without fearing they will be evicted. We are planning to ask these property owners to show compassion.”
HABC also provides homes to 64 federal employees living at public housing sites. They will face no fear of eviction for being unable to pay their portion of rent during the shutdown.
Abrahams noted that although the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is closed, the agency will send housing authorities their regular funding for the Housing Choice and public housing programs at the beginning of February. In addition, HABC has set aside a reserve fund to maintain normal operations into June. All employees, landlords and vendors will continue to be paid.
“Like most Americans, we are hopeful the shutdown ends soon but for now while the standoff continues I want low-income families, seniors and disabled citizens of Baltimore who we serve to know they can count on us,” Abrahams said.
About HABC: HABC is the fifth largest public housing authority in the U.S., providing quality affordable housing for more than 23,000 households. The agency creates diverse and vibrant communities, provides opportunities for self-sufficiency, and builds pathways for strong partnerships. #bmoreHABC