The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development released a contingency plan for procedures in the event of a government shut-down. The 67 page document is complex but it does address, in some small regard, what might happen to Section 8 programs during the government shut down.
In the section related to multi-family housing, the document indicates that HUD will “Make payments under Section 8 contracts, rent supplement, section 236, PRACS where there is a permanent or indefinite authority or multi-year funding.” and it goes on to say that HUD will “Renew/Fund Section 8 contracts and PRACS where there is budget authority available from prior appropriations or recaptures.”
Honestly, I don’t really know what that means. I think it means that as long as there is money in the pot, they will keep funding Section 8. That’s actually the same answer I was given this morning when I contacted the Chicago Housing Authority to ask about the status of Section 8 voucher payments. The representative indicated that they have not been told that there will be any changes right now, so “there is no change until there is a change”.
Interestingly, the reference to section 8 payments was not included under the heading in the document for single family properties. I wonder if that will make a difference.
In the FAQ Section of the document, there are two interesting references:
Q: Will HUD make payments under Section 8 contracts, rent supplement, section 236, or PRACS where there is a permanent or indefinite authority or multi-year funding?
A: Only where there is budget authority available from prior appropriations or recaptures.
So, it looks like they have money until they run out of money. They also indicate the following:
Q: Will Section 8 waiver requests be processed?
So, no section 8 waivers for now. October payments should already have been made. It will be interesting to see what November and December will bring.
Update: Here’s an article from Ohio that indicates that November payments there are likely at risk if there is a long-term shut-down.
Update: Here’s an article from Louisiana that indicates that Section 8 payments will be delayed for a few weeks.