The Star-Herald

Maine family ‘living out of boxes’ as government shutdown freezes home sales

A Madison family of seven is stuck in the middle of a move after the partial government shutdown put their purchase of a new home on ice, USA Today reported.

The story of Jordan and Tracey Smith and their five children is one that’s playing out in small towns all over the country as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which operates a rural mortgage program, remains closed indefinitely.

The Smiths were supposed to close on their new home on Friday, according to the newspaper, but without a commitment letter from the department, the process is on hold.

[Coast Guard families told they can have garage sales to cope with government shutdown]

“We’re living out of boxes,” Jordan Smith, 32, told USA Today. “We’re paying our landlord on a week-to-week basis, but he has people waiting to move in. We just want to move and get this process over with.”

The USDA’s rural and suburban mortgage program was used by about 140,000 home buyers in 2017, for reference, and real estate experts told the newspaper some home sales could fall apart without it. Some buyers don’t have the means to purchase a home without the program’s favorable terms, and some sellers won’t wait for buyers to secure a new loan in the meantime.

[Government shutdown could mean delays for travelers at Portland jetport]

Several federal agencies are shut down as President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats are gridlocked over the president’s insistence that more than $5 billion be included for a new border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in any forthcoming spending plan.

“My wife and I support Donald Trump. We agree with border security,” Jordan Smith told USA Today. “But he has to look and see that this is affecting other people’s lives.”

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