Perhaps they are neighbors. Or they are friends. Or they are you. A number of federal workers and contractors furloughed in the government shutdown are DC residents, and At-Large Council member Anita Bonds will soon introduce a bill that aims to protect them from losing their homes. Rachel Kurzius with DCist writes:
Now, the office of At-large D.C. Councilmember Anita Bonds is working on emergency legislation that would protect federal workers and contractors from being evicted or foreclosed upon; having cars or other property repossessed; falling behind in student loan payments or other bills; or losing insurance because of missed premiums, says senior advisor David Meadows. (Read more)
Bonds’ office is trying to create a local version of a bill introduced on Capitol Hill by Democrats this week that would prevent landlords and creditors from from taking action against feds and contractors during the shutdown and for 30 days after. The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act is itself modeled after a bill that provides protections for active duty service members.
The shutdown’s impact on housing in DC goes beyond federal workers struggling to pay their bills. We have neighbors in some apartment buildings who receive housing vouchers and assistance. They could be impacted if the shutdown goes beyond 90 days. Says DCist:
The D.C. Housing Authority… received its standard payment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in early January and has set aside financial reserves that will allow the agency to operate through March of this year.