Piedmont Housing Alliance Fears Prolonged Govt Shutdown

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A Charlottesville-based agency that helps low-income families find housing is anxiously waiting for the end of the government shutdown. The Piedmont Housing Alliance fears a prolonged shutdown will leave homeowners and renters struggling to pay the bills.

PHA got its first call from a renter on day one of the government shutdown. That furloughed federal employee fears they won't be able to pay rent without a paycheck.

PHA warns people trying to get loans to expect delays in approval. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the agency that provides loans for rural housing are both closed for business.

Homeowners looking to refinance can also expect a wait. PHA is preparing for delays refinancing one of its own rental properties.

PHA  wants struggling homeowners and renters to know its counselors are still working to help them stay in housing.

"We're still working. We also want to let people know that despite the shutdown, our doors are completely open. But this may affect people's ability to make their house payment, pay their rent. We're here to support that," said Karen Reifenberger, PHA interim director.

PHA says the shutdown should not affect renters who receive federal assistance payments for this month. That money was paid upfront for October. A prolonged government shutdown could affect those payments for next month.

PHA directors will meet Monday to develop a plan to help their clients if the shutdown continues.