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Local housing programs in jeopardy as government shutdown contin - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Local housing programs in jeopardy as government shutdown continues

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Over 2,000 Shreveport families who participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program - commonly called Section 8 - could feel the effects if the government shutdown stretches into November.

"There are no funds in their system to be forwarded to us past this month."

That means 800 landlords in the program don't don't get paid.

Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport Director, Richard Herrington, says part of the concern is that the contract participants sign requires federal funds to be available for the program to stay alive.

"You're putting out over 2,000 families on the street and that's really not a good way to either end the year nor start the year."

And if you were thinking about visiting websites for NASA, the Department of Transportation, or the Federal Trade Commission, to name a few, don't bother.

They're all shut down.

Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy says it's going to take an amendment to remove special provisions for Congress in the Affordable Care Act as well as postpone the individual mandate to get the government up and running again.

"The Senate democrats, for whatever reason, have decided it's more important to oppose those amendments than allow the government to go forward," says Cassidy.

 Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu called the Republican Tea Party 'reckless' in a press conference Thursday, saying that the shutdown is hurting small businesses and America's main street.

But Herrington just hopes an agreement is on the horizon.

"This is a massive issue. It's not just in Washington but it's here too. So we want to see this settled. It's not the way to do business and it's not the way to handle an issue."

The Housing Authority receives funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Herrington says their staff has been meeting and discussing what's next if the shutdown continues into next month.

But he says HUD doesn't allow the Housing Authority to keep any reserve funds, so exactly what's next is still unclear at this point.

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