Government shutdown could affect public housing payments

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - That government shutdown in Washington could soon have an impact on how and where people live right here in Northwest Ohio.

That's because money meant for public housing could be affected if the shutdown doesn't end soon.

It's basically a waiting game. Will everyone in Washington get the government back on track so that people here in our area don't have to uproot their lives?

Lots of people in our area rely on public housing to keep a roof over their heads. Money for that housing comes from the federal government but that money may run out soon.

"Nobody knows if the shutdown is going to be extended," said Demetria Simpson, President of the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority.

LMHA has been paid through February. After March 1st it's a different story.

"If this shutdown is extended what does this mean for us? That means we have to develop a contingency plan looking at reserves and our entire operation,” said Simpson.

Simpson says her agency is working on those plans. Part of that plan is not to kick people out of their homes.

"As long as we can help it, nobody is losing their housing. We're not in the business of evicting people if there is a government shutdown. That is why we need to have plans in place," said Simpson.

The larger issue will be landlords who are paid through the housing choice voucher program. If they're not working on a backup plan then that might money dry up soon. So Simpson recommends people reach out to lawmakers in Washington now.

"Let them know we are concerned about this and we need them to be speaking on our behalf," said Simpson.