Government Shutdown Impacting OKC Homeless Alliance

Friday, January 25th 2019, 10:33 am
By: News 9

As the government shutdown continues, the homeless population is seeing its’ impact.

News 9 met with staff at the area Homeless Alliance about services and funding that would be affected.

According to the Homeless Alliance there are 4500 hundred families and individuals in Oklahoma City alone who receive Housing Assistance Vouchers. Those vouchers allow those people to have a roof over their heads.

The OKC Housing Authority recently notified landlords that funding for Housing Assistance Payments and vouchers will only last through the end of February due to the Federal Government Shutdown.

Those that will be impacted the most are living in Section 8 housing or people in Multifamily Project Based Rental Assistance.

Staff at The Housing Authority and Homeless Alliance are warning landlords to be aware of the shutdown’s effect on rent payments.

The City of Oklahoma City usually gets around $3.5 million a year from Housing and Urban Development to provide homeless services in the community.

Due to the shutdown, the city is not getting the HUD money according to OKC Homeless Alliance Director, Dan Straughan. But city leaders have generously agreed to cover reimbursement requests for homeless services through February at the Homeless Alliance, beyond that, those funds will not be available.

Evictions could be part of what Straughan describes as the local catastrophic fallout from the shutdown.

“Imagine 4500 families and individuals with Section 8 vouchers who could possibly see an eviction notice March 5th, and what happens, where are they gonna go? What's gonna happen to our municipal court system all those evictions have to flow through, whats going to happen at our food banks? How's this going to affect our school, all those kids?" said Straghan. 

The OKC Housing Authority doesn’t have federal employees even though they get much HUD.

As a precaution they’re going to start furloughing 20 percent of their workers every Friday, starting today.