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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.

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Gibraltar Brexit row: EU will ‘ALWAYS side with Spain’ leaked document reveals

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Trump tells Pelosi he’ll be coming to deliver State of the Union Tuesday

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

By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday that he will deliver his State of the Union address in the House chamber Jan. 29, rejecting her suggestion that he delay it or submit it in writing because of the monthlong government shutdown.

In a letter, Trump said he would be “honoring” Pelosi’s original invitation for him to give the speech next week and that the Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service had dismissed her concern that security could be a problem given the furlough of some federal workers since Dec. 22.

“There are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union Address,” Trump wrote. “Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my Constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of our Union.”

And, he added, “I look forward to seeing you.”

The back-and-forth between Pelosi and Trump, who grounded her planned military flight to Afghanistan last week in a move the White House insisted was unrelated to the State of the Union tiff, has been a dramatic subplot to their fight over re-opening the government and Trump’s demand that Congress provide $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

As a practical matter, the speaker of the House has control over the chamber, including when it is open and when the president can speak there.

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Brexit news: Will Queen be forced to SUSPEND Parliament?

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