WASHINGTON, N.C. -
The nation's largest low income housing program also known as Section 8 is in trouble.
This year the program faces a billion-dollar shortfall and thousands of families will feel the pinch.
Close to 700 families served by the Washington and Mid-East Regional Housing Authority will see cuts and 3,200 will remain on a waiting list.
Estimates suggest it will take at least 3 to 5 years before they get any help. "In the past two years, in our Section 8 programs we've been under founded by about $850,000." CEO Marc Recko said.
Recko says they're not processing new applicants and people with vouchers are getting less for rent. Instead of getting enough to cover a three-bedroom dwelling, a family of four will have to downgrade to a two bedroom or chose to dish out an additional $250 to stay in their current place.
Future cuts are unknown because of the government shutdown. No budget means no new claims.
"There are a number of properties we manage that are HUD 202 for senior citizens and the way they are set up is on 1 year contract. 4 months prior the HUD asset manager has to approve the funding for the next year." Joseph Moore said. But since those managers were furloughed, claims aren't being renewed.
"With it expiring October 25th, there's no guarantee we will get that subsidy." Moore said. Stopped payments could mean roofs won't get repaired or landscaping will be pushed aside.