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.

 

A National Guardsmen rescues three people on a boat in LaPlace, Louisiana,after Hurricane Ida brought flooding to the area.

The Harbinger of the Modern Disaster Era: An Interview with Andreanecia Morris

From Katrina to COVID to Ida, the director of Housing NOLA talks about FEMA, communications systems, racism, and resiliency.

Housing Organizations Pivot to Provide COVID Testing and Vaccinations

Some CDCs hope that building trust can save lives now while building a stronger foundation for long-term health. “COVID is a catalyst forcing us to think outside the box, to pivot, to explore our partnerships in different ways.”
A street in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

How Santa Fe Prevented Evictions with Easy Access to Rent Relief

Last year, tenant advocacy groups convinced the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, to give cash quickly to residents at risk of eviction. As federal rent relief money trickles out, what can other areas learn from Santa Fe’s program?
Domestic Violence survivor.

Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors From Eviction

COVID-19 has led to a surge in intimate partner violence. The Violence Against Women Act prohibits evictions of survivors simply because they have experienced violence in their homes, but such protections can be lacking in LIHTC-funded developments.

How State and Local Governments Can Avoid Mass Evictions

Beyond the immediate need to stop mass evictions, there is much more that state and local officials can do to facilitate housing stability in a longer-term transition out of the pandemic emergency. The time for those critical measures is now.

Anti-Eviction Advocates Want the DOJ to Support the Right to Counsel Movement

The revival of an office within the Department of Justice that is focused on equitable legal representation has tenants’ rights advocates calling on the federal government to do more to strengthen the right to counsel movement.
evictions: image of house keys and a tag that says "evicted"

Moratorium Extended: Millions at Risk of Eviction, Billions in Rental Assistance Undelivered

The CDC issued a new eviction moratorium through Oct. 3. Will it be enough time for states to distribute unpaid rental assistance? And how did the 2020 eviction predictions pan out?

Rescue Plan has Billions Available for Housing, Advocates Urge Officials to Take It

With relatively few strings attached to the $350 billion in funds states and municipalities will receive, the door is wide open for governments to make a dent in their housing needs. But will they?

Scams on the Rise, Say Housing Counselors

As more people seek help after being defrauded, housing counselors worry that with up to 11 million families facing eviction or mortgage default, the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Improving Racial Equity via Emergency Rental Assistance

Five ways to ensure that rental assistance reaches communities of color with high levels of need.
A FEMA sign posted outside the hurricane Harvey disaster recovery center.

FEMA Offers Full Reimbursement for Pandemic Shelter Costs—But Cities Are Still Jittery

Cities and counties have been slow to take advantage of the promise of full and retroactive FEMA reimbursement to expand emergency housing programs, frustrating housing advocates. What’s getting in the way?

More Than a Mural: How Arts and Culture Advance the Mission of the Seattle...

Arts programs at one public housing development in Seattle have eased the challenges of redevelopment by helping residents define what the community means to them.
A sofa and two matching chairs in pink upholstery are piled up on the sidewalk, next to a mattress.

Q: Does the CDC’s Extension of the Eviction Moratorium Mean No One Is Being...

Even with the moratorium in place through July 31, there have been and will continue to be many, many Americans who lose their homes.

Struggling Landlords Should Favor Rent Forgiveness

If we simply pay tenants’ rent indiscriminately, we have no way of knowing where the ultimate benefit goes.

As the Pandemic Continues, Officials Look to Long-Term Housing Options with Hotels

Advocates point to a bevy of successes in slowing the spread of the virus, but authorities struggle with cost burden.

Fixing the Harms of Our Eviction System: An Interview with Emily Benfer

Emily Benfer talks about what needs to change in our housing and eviction systems—not just now, but once the pandemic is past, the connections between health and housing, and how she came to be a go-to voice on the eviction crisis.

During the Pandemic, Community Development Organizations Prioritize Relief and Assistance Work

While rent relief might not be their mission, organizations are focusing on the immediate needs of residents. But with all of their staff and monetary resources being used to plug holes, some organizations believe they’re a few months or another crisis away from financial disaster.

HUD Won’t Help With Back Rent Until Eviction Moratoriums Are Gone

Housing groups across the country are hoping HUD under the Biden administration will allow the use of Emergency Services Grants to prevent evictions.

Moving from the Inequitable Housing System We Have to the Housing System We Need

Three big, but basic, things that we could do right now to get us much closer to equity in housing.
A protestor holds a "Rent Relief Now" sign during a North Carolina demonstration this month

In Unprecedented Times, Nothing Less Than Universal Rent Relief Will Do

If we stick with yesterday’s policy and programs in an unprecedented year of crisis, we will leave an unconscionable number of people, families, and communities behind.