‘Processing glitch’ blamed for delay
The Housing Authority of New Orleans expects to make belated rent payments on behalf of the 17,000 families living in Section 8 housing in the city by early next week, following a one-week delay caused by a “processing glitch” at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
HANO said Tuesday that the shutdown of various parts of the federal government caused it to miss its monthly payments to the roughly 8,000 landlords who participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. H
ANO receives about $13 million a month in housing assistance payments from the federal government.
A HUD spokesman blamed the delay on a “processing glitch” and said the department plans to make its payment to HANO by Monday.
“In anticipation of that event, we will begin processing payments to landlords (on Thursday),” HANO’s federal receiver, David Gilmore, said in a statement posted on the agency’s website Wednesday afternoon.
“That means that all landlords that have their (housing assistance) payments directly deposited to their accounts should see those payments credited to their accounts on or about October 7th.”
Landlords typically receive automatic deposits for one month’s rent at the start of each month.
On Tuesday, however, various parts of the government were shut down when Congress failed to agree on a funding bill.
Much of HUD, the government agency that funnels money for housing to HANO, is among those closed.
Not all municipalities in Louisiana are facing the same disruption as HANO. The East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority received its October payment from HUD as usual and will not have a delay in paying its Section 8 landlords, said the authority’s chief operating officer, Melonie Bayham.
“We are not experiencing any type of issues,” she said. “We are in a position — even if the shutdown was for an extended period — of not having an impact on us for at least two to three months.”
If the shutdown stretches beyond October, Bayham said, the authority would dip into its reserve to cover the rent payments through the end of the year.
It is not clear why HANO did not receive funding for October and East Baton Rouge Parish did. The HUD spokesman said the delay was not the fault of HANO.
Gilmore said HANO will try to offer assistance to impacted landlords and tenants who call or e-mail the agency or their individual caseworkers.
“While we can’t promise immediate relief, we will try to work with those of you for whom the impact of this temporary situation is most critical,” Gilmore said in the statement.