The big news this week is the gridlock in Congress leading to a government shutdown. Regardless of which side of the aisle you fall on, your management company needs to be able to keep doing business as usual. How can the government shutdown affect your management company? Let's explore:
The Good (for now):
Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Government Shutdown
Self-funded and essential agencies are staying open. That means an essential staple of community management, the US Post office will continue to be available.
Yes, Your Honor
The federal court systems will continue to stay open, at least temporarily. (Many estimates say courts can stay open for at least two weeks.) State courts are good too, so your pending law suits will go on as planned (I know, right?)
The (not so) Bad:
No More Scenic Shortcuts
Access to communities may be restricted if you live near a national park. Roads and access routes through national parks are now shut down, and if community members use the park as an alternate access route they may be affected.
Some goats might go hungry
"Twenty-eight poison ivy-eating goats were removed from the Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey after their owner became worried that a government shutdown would shutter the park where the goats had been recruited to eat the pesky weed, according to the Asbury Park Press. The goats had been a 'tremendous hit' with parkgoers, the president of the Sandy Hook Foundation told the paper." US.News on NBCNews.com
The (this could get) Ugly:
Salaries and Benefits not paid
A number of government agencies will not be paying out salaries and benefits during the shutdown. Depending on your location, this could severely impact the ability of your homeowners to stay current with dues and fees. Agencies that may affect you more than you thought include:
- All non-essential government employees under furlough won't get paid (as many as 800,000 people nationwide), and even essential employees may experience payment delays (more than 2 million people).
- Payments to the public housing authorities may be stopped or delayed.
- Military personnel will remain on the job, but paychecks may be delayed.
- Benefits checks from veterans affairs including disability and pension checks may be delayed.
Fewer homes loans approved
Due to reduced staff, far fewer loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration will be approved, potentially impacting home sales in your communities. (although Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans are not expected to be affected.)
Especially if you manage condos
Specifically, the agency has stated that it will focus on single-family homes during the shutdown, setting aside loan applications for multi-family dwellings.
The last time the government shut down in 1995-96, the shut down lasted for 21 days. Our thoughts go out to all who are affected, and we pray for a swift reinstatement to gridlock as usual.