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Thousands of South Bend families, public housing employees could be impacted by shutdown

NOW: Thousands of South Bend families, public housing employees could be impacted by shutdown

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- As the government shutdown continues it is affecting many organizations, including one here in South Bend.

The South Bend Public Housing Authority, which is funded by The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will not receive funding after February if the partial government shutdown persists.

This is a major concern for people who work for the housing company, since close to 3,000 families could be affected, according to Tonya Robinson, Executive Director of The South Bend Public Housing Authority.

Robinson said they are making plans to help people being supported through public housing and that the housing authority sent out letters to landlords, utility companies, contractors, and suppliers.

“Housing authorities will not receive funds to pay for the landlords,” said Robinson. “So housing authorities will have to take a look at their budget to see where they stand financially to see if they’re able to pay it out of their reserves.”

Overall, Robinson said the housing authority pays nearly $1 million each month towards Section 8 payments and utilities.

With the possibility of not receiving funding after February, Robinson said she and her team have reached out to utility companies to try and help support residents during this time.

“NIPSCO AND AEP said they will work with our residents on a case by case basis if they do not receive a utility allowance," Robinson said.

Robinson said the housing authority has been in touch with Water Works as well.

She also mentioned that the company reached out to landlords to ask that they work with their residents. Robinson said the landlords have been on board to help so far.

Robinson said they are doing their absolute best to take care of everyone during this partial government shutdown.

“I have a very supportive board and they’re aware of all of this,” said Robinson. They’re backing us up. I met with the Mayor he’s aware of it. So we’re doing as much as we can do.”

The South Bend Housing Authority cut back their employee hours to create more funds to help their residents until the shutdown ends, Robinson told ABC57. 

For now, Robinson said that residents should communicate with their landlords and work with them closely.

For more information, contact the South Bend Housing Authority at (574) 235-9346.

Normal business hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., however, during the government shutdown, the South Bend Housing Authority will be open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

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