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.

 

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.
Photo of AICHO's Gimaaji Gardens

Duluth Indigenous Groups Reframe Climate Work in Cultural Context

While many conversations about climate resiliency are well-intentioned, they often lack a perspective grounded in community control and cultural context. In this interview, Ivy Vainio and LeAnn Littlewolf from the American Indian Community Housing Organization explore how gardens, worm bins, and solar panels help reclaim agency for Duluth's Indigenous communities.

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.
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.

Real Estate Defaults Are Coming. Don’t Waste Them.

Here’s what the federal government should do to grab the opportunity to create affordable housing.

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?
housing march

How Rent Control Promotes Racial Equity

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our long-standing housing affordability crisis called for universal rent control as a baseline protection. 
evictions: image of house keys and a tag that says "evicted"

As Moratoriums Start to Lift, Preparing for an Eviction Wave

Tenant organizers and legal services groups are working vigorously to get ahead of eviction cases as housing court processes restart.
A view of the Chicago skyline through a rusty chain-link fence

Fighting No-Fault Evictions with a Just Cause Ordinance

Despite a state-wide eviction moratorium, thousands of people have been evicted in Chicago since March. A coalition of housing advocates is proposing a just cause ordinance that would halt no-fault evictions.

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.

Hotel Rooms for the Homeless Change Health Outcomes Beyond COVID

Beyond the crucial goal of reducing the spread of COVID-19, providers say that the shift from congregate shelters to hotel rooms has made dramatic positive change for their clients. 

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.
Close up of a typewriter with the word "Regulations" typed out

Business as Usual: Trump Agencies Resist Calls to Suspend Non-Essential Rulemaking

Congressional leaders and community advocates are calling on HUD and financial regulators to suspend non-essential rulemaking. HUD appears to refuse.

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.

The CARES Act Was Supposed to Protect NJ Tenants from Eviction. It Didn’t.

State activists say eviction cases were filed in violation of the CARES Act’s ban on evictions. Pre-trial settlement conferences are further complicating the situation.
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?
Blacksmith hammering iron on anvil

Housers: Now Is the Time to Buy Land

The coronavirus did not end the urban affordability crisis. To the contrary, it is only a matter of time before urban America’s restaurants, bars,...

Racial Equity, Housing, and COVID: A Roundtable

Six regional and state housing advocates discuss the connections between uprisings over racial injustice, the pandemic, and the need for housing security.

The Foreclosure Crisis Waiting for Us in January

Although homeowners have so far accessed financial relief from the pandemic much more easily than renters, housing counselors are bracing for a foreclosure crisis as forbearance terms start to end.

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.