Home listings portal Homesnap is hosting a contest to pay the mortgage or rent of 10 workers affected by the now 31-day long partial shutdown of the federal government.

“We’re DC-based company, and we’ve seen firsthand how the government shutdown has affected people across our region,” said Homesnap CEO, John Mazur. “This is a small thing that we can do to help alleviate the stress and uncertainty that so many are feeling. We’re in the business of helping people find homes, so this seemed like a natural way for us to help.”

The company will choose, at random, 10 federal workers currently going without pay, and cover their mortgage or rent expense during the month of February. To enter, workers need only snap a photo, record a video, or write a short post answering the question, “what does your home mean to you?”

The worker then needs to post the content on a social media platform — Facebook, Instagram or Twitter — and hashtag it #MyHomeMeans and #ShutdownStories, or visit this site to enter. The company will accept entries until January 31, 2019.

The limit for payment, according to the contest rules, are $2,500 and workers in Florida, New York, and Rhode Island are not eligible. If the shutdown ends soon, Homesnap will still honor its commitment and pay the February mortgage payments for the 10 winners of its contest.

(Credit: Homesnap)

The longest government shutdown in history has dragged on since late December. Since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, the House has passed legislation to reopen the government and fund all partially-shuttered departments until September.

The Senate is considering taking up a different bill this week that would provide $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall, along with funding for humanitarian assistance and three-year temporary legal status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, according to CNN.  The bill is not likely to achieve the 60 vote threshold needed to pass.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he won’t bring to the floor for a vote any bill that doesn’t have the support of President Donald Trump, who has held firm on his demand for $5.7 billion, according to CNN. 

As a result of the shutdown, the approximately 800,000 federal workers either furloughed or working without pay will owe an estimated $438 million in mortgage and rent payments this month, according to a study from Zillow.

The shutdown is also impacting the real estate industry by holding up the closing of certain home sales across the country.

Email Patrick Kearns

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