Connect with us

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

 / Updated 

By Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler

The government shutdown means that the long-leaking roof of San Jose Manor II Apartments won’t be replaced anytime soon, says Alma Ballard, who oversees the building for low-income senior citizens in Jacksonville, Florida.

“That’s definitely not going to happen,” said Ballard, executive director of the nonprofit Family Housing Management, who said that water has at times dripped into some residents’ rooms.

Ballard said Family Housing Management had been saving up for a new roof for the 50-unit government-subsidized property, but had to put the plans on hold because its contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development was still in the process of being renewed when the shutdown began. The company never received its December and January payments from HUD, totaling about $40,000, immediately putting the property under financial strain.

The few federal employees left at HUD have been scouring the books, looking for a last-minute solution to fund hundreds of affordable housing contracts that have expired under the shutdown.

More than 200 of the contracts that expired in December are for properties, like San Jose Manor II, that provide rental assistance for the elderly, according to LeadingAge, an association for nonprofit providers of aging services. Known as Section 202, the program houses about 400,000 low-income elderly people as part of HUD’s Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance as well as a separate HUD program.

San Jose Manor II Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida. Courtesy Jacqueta Nash

These tenants are particularly at risk during the shutdown, says Linda Couch, vice president of housing policy for LeadingAge. Despite its scramble for a fix, HUD has not been able to find any stopgap funding to support the Section 202 landlords whose contracts expired in December, Brian Montgomery, HUD’s acting deputy secretary, told Couch in a call on Wednesday evening, according to her account.

While HUD has identified buckets of money that could potentially be used to shore up other low-income rental assistance contracts, including those for disabled adults, HUD has not been able to do so for the elderly housing program because of restrictions on how previously allocated funds can be spent, according to Couch’s notes from her conversation with Montgomery, currently HUD’s second in command.

“HUD has its back up against the wall and has really no good options,” said Couch, who fears the lack of funding could harm some of the most frail and vulnerable Americans.

HUD did not directly address NBC News’ questions about the shortfall of funds for the elderly.

“HUD is actively resolving issues with these pending contracts with owners and identifying available resources for payment,” Jereon Brown, a HUD spokesman, said in a statement.

Source link

Politics

‘You should be ASHAMED’ – Furious audience member SAVAGES Theresa May on Brexit

Published

on

THERESA MAY and the Government “should be ashamed of themselves” after their botched Brexit plans, one angry BBC Question Time audience member declared.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Trump order withholds money from colleges that don’t promise to protect free speech

Published

on

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday that would withhold federal research and education funds from colleges if they don’t certify that they will protect free-speech rights on campus.

“We’re here to take historic actions to defend American students and American values,” Trump said at the White House. “They’ve been under siege.”

Colleges and universities spend as much as $40 billion in federal research and development dollars annually, according to the National Science Foundation, a total which doesn’t include higher education grants that would also be subject to the executive order. A senior administration official said federal financial aid for tuition would not be affected by the action.

Public colleges and universities are already required to abide by the First Amendment.

Trump took a similar approach to try to cut off Justice Department grants to so-called sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. But that executive order has been ruled unconstitutional by multiple federal courts.

The idea that universities are cracking down on conservative thought and speech has become a cause celebre on the political right, and one that Trump has taken up as a major political issue as he heads into his re-election campaign.

In recent weeks, he has focused attention to an altercation on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, in which an organizer for the conservative group Turning Point USA was punched while “tabling” — or providing information — to students on campus. Neither the student who was punched nor the person charged in the incident, who pleaded not guilty, are students at the school.

The university has called the discussion around the incident “willfully distorted and inaccurate.”

Trump talked about the incident Thursday.

“You see people being punched hard in the face, but he didn’t go down,” the president said. “I said, ‘you have a better chin than Muhammad Ali.'”

In his remarks, Trump made little distinction between universities.

“Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions, and that’s exactly what they are: anti-First Amendment,” he said. “Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

‘Goodbye UK’ EXASPERATED Juncker says EU has more important issues than Brexit

Published

on

EU COMMISSION President Jean-Claude Juncker sounded fed up of Brexit talks and said there are other important issues to get on with.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending