SCHA is monitoring what is happening in Washington, DC for a federal budget. As some of you may know, the Federal government is running on a continuing resolution from last year at this time. Despite talk of the 2012 budget, there is no 2011 budget. This means we are receiving the same funds as last year until a budget is passed. Each year rents and utilities increase, and without funds frozen, we actually have a decrease in funding.
HUD operates on a “use it or lose it” mentality. In order to show a greater need in our area, SCHA spent into the reserves in hopes of receiving a budget increase. HUD prefers housing authorities hold one month’s worth of reserves. As 2010 went on, we no longer accepted new clients to bring the expenditures to the budget level. We still have yet to achieve that balance. This month we have spent over $100,000 in rents, and only have $98,515 for a budget. We will maintain this course until we can feasibly add more clients.
There are many things happening in Washington, DC. As we know, it is important for our government to maintain a balanced budget. This means there would be some cuts. Since we have no 2011 budget, any changes or passage for a 2011 budget would be an instant change. Last week, the House passed HR1, which would cut housing assistance payments by 2.2% and administrative revenue by 24%. Congress has until March 4 to either pass a budget, or add another continuing resolution.
If there is a political stalemate in DC over the budget and nothing is passed, the government may shutdown. There is a real possibility that a government shut-down could happen this spring.
SCHA, like other housing authorities, continues to watch what happens in DC.