Shutdown may hurt local residents’ rent payments

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – While the government shutdown is affecting some 800,000 federal employees across the country right now, it could soon affect thousands of others right here in mid-Michigan who rely on government help to pay rent.

If the shutdown continues much longer, there’s a chance that a program through Housing and Urban Development could run out of money.
 

One local man relies on H.U.D. money because he’s on disability and can’t work. If that money stops, he says he doesn’t know what he’ll do.

By the time I pay my rent and the additional for groceries, a bus pass to get around to my doctors and etc., I don’t have any money left, said Lansing resident Ricky Lott.
           
Lott is caught in the crossfire of the partial government shutdown. He uses Section 8 government funding to help pay rent for his Lansing home.


I’ve been on the program since 2012 and it’s been a God sent, said Lott.

Lott says the government pays for 70 percent of his bill, but if the shutdown continues, he will soon have the come up with the money himself.

I might be able to pay one month’s rent, but I won’t be able to buy any additional groceries; I won’t buy any of my meds, which Im on about seven meds a day, it’s all going to stop, said Lott.

The money is given through the Lansing Housing Commission, which helps more than 2,000 people in the area.

 

The executive director says the money is secure through February, but doesn’t know what will happen in March if the shutdown goes on much longer.
 

So while the debate in Washington continues…

The plan includes 5.7 billion dollars for a strategic deployment of physically barriers or a wall, said President Donald Trump.

I’m not for a wall, Im not for a wall, Im not for a wall, said Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Lott says there’s more than border security at stake, as more and more people start to feel the ripple effects of the shutdown.

I just want it to get over with and get back on with life, said Lott.

Officials with the Lansing Housing Commission say at this point, they’re waiting on directions from Housing and Urban Development on what to do if and when the money runs out.

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