HUD program expects cuts following shutdown

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 5:20 PM

Hundreds of families could be cut off from low-income housing assistance as HUD programs expect less federal funding following the government shutdown.

The Tacoma Housing Authority expects to be handed a “sequester budget,” which could mean a smaller budget of $3 million.

While the decision won’t be made until December or January, officials estimate 400 families may be cut off from assistance.

“It’s going to put us in big jeopardy,” said Men May, whose family has received assistance for two years.

May, his wife and six kids went from being homeless to renting a five bedroom house for $245 a month thanks to a housing program.

“I don’t want my kids to go back to where we were. We’re happy here,” he said.

May and his wife don’t know if they’ll be a casualty of the expected cuts, but they’re preparing just in case.

“We’re just trying to put a lot of hours in and save money,” said May.

“It’s a significant impact on people, real people trying to pick themselves up,” said Brian Sonntag, Executive Director of Tacoma’s Rescue Mission Shelter.

Shelise Hines and her two young daughters call the Rescue Mission’s Emergency Shelter home for now.

“I’m thankful to be here,” said Hines.

While her family was approved for transitional housing, the shutdown has postponed processing. With HUD programs expected to take a financial hit, there’s a chance she may not get her home.

“It hurts me. I feel like there’s a lot more that can be done but it’s not within my power,” said Hines.

With local shelters already at capacity, many plan to apply for additional grants to help reach the area’s growing need.

But with HUD programs across the country expected to be impacted, they expect tough competition.

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