COVID-19

How is the community development world responding to the COVID-19 crisis? What are the most pressing policy issues that organizations should be paying attention to? How are groups across the U.S. coordinating? Shelterforce will be delving into these issues and lots more.

We welcome reader stories about the challenges and the moments of hope and collaboration that you’re seeing on the ground, and questions you want answered. Please let us know: what kinds of information would be useful for you to hear? Email us at info@shelterforce.org.

 

Resilience in the Face of a Pandemic: Green Affordable Housing Matters More Than Ever

COVID-19 is quickly changing how we think about the places we live, and about how we will design the new normal. Green building must be part of that vision.

The Case for Building Tiny House Villages During the Pandemic

Tiny house villages cost less than extended hotel stays, can remain in place for years, and can help flatten the curve of disease transmission.

Your Essential Worker May Be a Voucher Holder

How housing assistance programs benefit all of us—and why they should stop leaving people behind.
handpainted sign says "I think we are doing a beautiful job figuring out some heavy shit"

Response to Pandemic Shows What’s Possible in Housing

We’re seeing bold actions from states across the U.S.—from strong eviction moratoriums in Massachusetts to a major homeless initiative in California. What if these new housing measures were designed to last beyond the coronavirus crisis?

Albuquerque Artists Sustain Connection Despite Social Distancing

Placemaking is an inherently in-person practice, but it doesn’t always have to be. In Albuquerque, an exhibit was reimagined to highlight the work of local photographers, who captured striking images of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tape sign on stone floor: Wait your turn here

We Need Emergency Rental Assistance to Address COVID-19 Fallout

Stimulus funding should be prioritized to stabilize the housing market by providing emergency rental assistance, with adequate resources allotted for state and local governments in a timely and efficient manner.

Relief from the Rent

Rental assistance has been included in the House Democrats’ financial package. It would be none too soon for the people left out of overwhelmed state and local efforts.

Banks Can Earn CRA Credit for COVID Response—But Who’s Benefiting?

All banking activities, regardless of whether they benefit middle- and upper-income or low- and moderate-income people and communities, could count in the next round of CRA exams. This would further disadvantage communities that are already disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

How CDCs are Fighting Back Against Anti-Asian Harassment

Advocates for the Asian-American community say the COVID-19 crisis has led to the most widespread discrimination against them since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Pandemic Leads to Early Prisoner Release, But Finding Housing for Them Remains Difficult

As the infection rate at jails in places like New York began to climb, officials started looking for criteria to use in determining which inmates could be released. Then they ran into a familiar but now heightened dilemma.
a sign that promotes social distancing.

Three Lessons Learned from Working in Isolation

A New York-based organizer says although we may be physically divided due to social distancing, we can be emotionally bounded through our common purpose.
destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy

What Prior Disasters Have Taught Housing Advocates About How to Respond to COVID-19

When it comes to helping people maintain or recover their housing, hurricanes and fires aren’t as different from a pandemic as one might think.
A large group of cheering people wearing yellow T-shirts hold a sign that reads "Homes Guarantee". In the background, a large sign reads "People before profits, politics, polluters."

Housing Justice Organizers Don’t Want to Return to ‘Normal’

As they organize for immediate relief for those whose housing was affected by the pandemic, tenant leaders are also building power to demand long-term changes.

What Would It Mean to Cancel Rent?

The growing organizing demand raises a host of questions for the affordable housing movement.

CDFIs and the Expansion of the Payroll Protection Program

The Payroll Protection Program is an expansion of a program for banks and credit unions. It offers virtually nothing to nonprofit small-business lenders.

Rent Strikes Launching Around the World May 1

Organizers calling for the cancellation of rent are taking to digital platforms to get the word out about the action, where tenants will withhold some or all of their rent until their conditions are met.

NYC Hospital Closures: Land-Use Decisions Have Life and Death Consequences

How hospital closures in NYC follows an all-too-familiar pattern of disinvestment and a lack of resources in low-income communities of color.
Interrupting history

Let’s Interrupt History: Racial Equity in a Time of Crisis

Data on the pandemic shows once again the dramatic consequences of racial inequalities. CDFIs must focus on ensuring equity for Black-owned businesses.
A woman on sews masks on a sewing machine

Nonprofit Housing Providers Face Down COVID-19

As organizers struggle to get strong eviction moratoriums passed and enforced around the country, there’s one sector where evictions during the pandemic were not...
homeowners_foreclosure sign

Implement A Market-Wide Program for Post-COVID-19 Homeowner Relief—Immediately

We have learned how to successfully provide broad-based mortgage payment relief to millions of American households in need. There’s nothing to stop us this time around from doing it right.