Shutdown Will Affect People Awaiting Federal Rent Assistance

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – As the partial government shutdown enters its fifth week, the effects are spreading throughout Southern Tier and Finger Lakes communities. HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is among the agencies affected.

HUD administers a low-income housing assistance program known as Section 8. It subsidizes rents for people with low income and they can wait years for assistance.

Wait lists for Section 8 can be years long. In the Ithaca area the wait is two to three years.

At the Ithaca Housing Authority, the staff works with about one thousand families who quality. 

“Until the government re-opens,” said Executive Director Brenda Westfall, “we aren’t currently, you know, taking names off that waiting list.”

At the same time, Westfall says they continue to add names to the waiting list.

She says her agency has funds through February.  After that, Westfall is not sure about what they’ll be able to do.