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.

 

homeowners_foreclosure sign

Don’t Just Defer Loans—Start Modifying Loans Now

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.

Lasting Affordability Is the Path to Resilience

We now have a unique opportunity, generated by a combination of life-threatening conditions and focused political will stemming from the Black Lives Matter movement, to re-prioritize local housing policies and resources.

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.
rural cooperative

We Need a Rural New Deal

COVID-19 is a combined health and economic crisis poised to further devastate rural communities already suffering severe economic stress. Already, rural health care systems...
Squatters occupy the Arion building in Seattle after it sat vacant for months. There are signs that read "Operation Homestead" and "It's Alive" outside the large white building.

History Shows that in Times of Crisis, Housing Activists Get Radical

A recent spate of vacant home occupations echo squatters campaigns of the past.

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...

The Most We Can Do: A National Mandate for Housing Justice

As the United States wrestles with its long history of racial injustice, shared-equity programs stand as one solution to address inequality and exclusion in the realms of housing.

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.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson smiles as his folds his hands in front of his chest.

HUD Urged to Make Tenant Income Adjustments Automatic by April 1

Preventing catastrophe when eviction moratoriums lift requires reducing tenants' rent quickly—which advocates say is fully within HUD's power.

Feeding People in a Pandemic

Across the country, community organizations and food-related businesses have found creative ways to provide meals and groceries to low-income people in need.
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.
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.
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.

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. 
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.
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,...