Housing Authorities Face Decreases in Funding

Housing Authorities Face Decreases in Funding

Several public housing authorities could be in trouble as they continue to receive less money from the government.

HAGERSTOWN, Md.- Several public housing authorities could be in trouble as they continue to receive less money from the government.

"From what I understand a number of housing authorities are either bankrupt or close to bankrupt," said Ted Shankle, executive director of the Hagerstown Housing Authority.

The U.S. Department of Housing (HUD) gives out what are called "capital fund" grants every year so that housing authorities have money to maintain their properties.

This year, the Hagerstown Housing Authority only got $1.3 million in capital funds from HUD. That's about $300,000 less than last year.

"If these funding problems continue, it's going to deteriorate, and what people thought was public housing before…it's going to start looking like that instead of looking at brand new buildings or buildings that are maintained very well," said Shankle.

In addition, the local Boys and Girls club, Head Start programs, and resident services, which are all funded in part by the Hagerstown Housing Authority, could be in jeopardy.

The decrease in public housing funds also means projects, like the rebuilding of the Noland Village units could be delayed.

Despite the lack of adequate funding, the Hagerstown Housing Authority is doing better than their counterparts.

"The Hagerstown housing authority is very safe," said Shankle.

They are safe for at least the next five years because they have reserve funds, money saved up from development projects, which can be used when government grants are not enough.

However, many other housing authorities do not have reserves, making it harder for them to survive.

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