Shutdown could threaten federal housing assistance

CREATED Oct 3, 2013

  • Print
  • Play

WAUKESHA – The shutdown of the Federal government affects most Americans planning to visit a national park or buy a passport.

For millions of families, however, the dealings in Washington are much more serious.

Jeanne Bartol, 60, of New Berlin, lives with a debilitating back injury. She can’t work, so she relies on ‘Section 8,’ a form of federal housing assistance, to help pay her rent.

When news of the shutdown broke Bartol wanted to know if the checks would keep coming in.

She emailed her local housing authority. Soon after, Bartol discovered the department in charge of payments was shut down.  

Her local housing representative had no answers.

"..We will work until the money is gone or we get more. Pray for congress to their jobs," read one email.

When it comes to federal housing assistance, the Waukesha Housing Authority is set for now, but the future remains unclear.

The group’s director tells TODAY’S TMJ4 funding for October is secure, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development--which cuts the checks—is closed.

The housing authority does have reserve funds set up to help defray the costs through November or December. 

They're hoping politicians come to an agreement well before it comes to that.