(JTA) — The UJA-Federation of New York has allocated $5 million toward interest-free loans to federal employees who have been furloughed or are working without pay because of the government shutdown.
The Jewish charity announced the move Tuesday, saying in a statement that the money will be distributed by the Hebrew Free Loan Society, or HLFS, to applicants who reside in New York City, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties and earn $40,000 or less annually. The loans are to cover expenses for employees who are not receiving a salary because of the shutdown.
Some 18,000 federal employees work at affected agencies in New York City, according to the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the statement said.
Applicants can download forms on the HLFS website.
Some 800,000 federal employees are not being paid due to the government shutdown that started on Dec. 22 after President Donald Trump and the Democrats failed to reach a deal on whether to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Today, it’s clear that federal workers in our area are in financial distress because of the shutdown,” said Eric Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York. “We hope this loan program will alleviate some of the stress and worry for these individuals and their families.”
Earlier this month, HLFS approved an emergency program to provide loans of up to $2,000 per household to affected Jews living in the Washington, D.C., area.