Government shutdown knocks on door of Omaha Housing Authority

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- As the partial government shutdown continues some of Omaha's most vulnerable are worried about keeping a roof over their heads.

The Housing and Urban Development agency is one of the hardest hit by the shutdown. The agency provides money to the Omaha Housing Authority to manage and distribute to more than 7,000 local families.

The Housing Authority is funded through February but after that the future is foggy.

Interim Housing Authority Director Christine Johnson said, “It is concerning that we do have guaranteed payments through February and there's some ambiguity as to what happens after that. We have a very strong team that is looking at the financial implications and we're very confident that we'll have a plan moving forward that will assure stability for our families."

The uncertainty grows as the shutdown drags on.

Corey Campbell said, “I'm just concerned about myself and my daughter and other families as well. Just concerned on what this going to bring. I’m concerned about everyone's housing."

Campbell relies on Section 8 housing vouchers to pay his rent in this apartment complex. Funding for the vouchers comes from the Housing and Urban Development agency.

Dave Paladino owns the building Campbell lives in. He receives HUD funding to subsidize Section 8 housing and says his tenants shouldn't be concerned - at least for now.

“If it's for the first three or four months, let's just pick a number, we would just continue to take the tenants’ portion and just assume we'd make up in the past. Now if it went really long then it would be interesting."

When asked if OHA's reserves and Dave Paladino's promises are comforting, Corey Campbell said, “No. It's not. Comforting for what? How long? How much? Just think about all the people who are on OHA and all the checks they give everyone to survive who don't have the means to take care of themselves."

Johnson did not want to discuss the amount of money Omaha has in its reserves but she did encourage people to contact their representatives and urge them to find a way to end the shutdown.