Santa Rosa, CA – January 17, 2019 – The Sonoma County Housing Authority
will continue to provide much-needed rental assistance through its programs
funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), despite
the federal government continuing its longest shutdown in U.S. history. The
Housing Authority has guaranteed rental assistance payments through March 2019.
“We have reserve funding to support
our HUD programs for the next 2 months,” said Margaret Van Vliet, executive
director of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, which oversees
the Housing Authority. “We’re monitoring the situation closely and working to
ensure that our residents are protected.”
The Sonoma County Housing Authority
receives approximately $3 million each month for HUD-funded rental assistance
programs, which include Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and several other
project-based programs. According to Housing Authority Manager Martha Cheever,
Sonoma County doesn’t always use the full amount it's eligible to receive, often
due to a shortfall in available rentals.
“We likely use about $2.5 million
each month, as voucher recipients, available rental units and other factors
inevitably shift,” said Cheever. “The remaining funds are held in reserves,
which we will be able to access in order to fund our programs through February
and March, should the shutdown last that long.”
If the shutdown stretches past March
31, Sonoma County will join many other jurisdictions across the country facing
an unprecedented situation: people that need rental assistance who are suddenly
facing eviction and possible homelessness.
“We will continue to do everything we
can to protect those who rely on our services, and keep the public informed of
any new developments” said Van Vliet. “But we need the federal government to
reopen HUD. It’s the only way to protect some of the most vulnerable people in
For more information, contact Margaret Van
Vliet at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (707) 565-7504.