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.

 

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.
A group of people stand in a line outside a building a court building. In the foreground Black man with a white beard in a black jacket and cap holds a sign a sign reading "Shut down housing court until coronavirus is past."

An Eviction Moratorium Is Not Enough—Suspend Rent

What will people do when they’re expected to pay back rent after the crisis is over? Eviction moratoriums are not enough to prevent a homelessness crisis.
A sign for an essential worker.

Your Essential Worker May Be a Voucher Holder

How housing assistance programs benefit all of us—and why they should stop leaving people behind.
gap in book stacks

The Coronavirus Will Explode Achievement Gaps in Education

The achievement gap between low-income and other children is already equivalent to at least two years of schooling. Might the coronavirus shutdown expand that by another half year?
a person hold a #cancelrent sign in spanish.

What Would It Mean to Cancel Rent?

The growing organizing demand raises a host of questions for the affordable housing movement.
A group of people stand three feet apart, mouths open as if shouting, outside a building that looks like a court. In the foreground a young white man in sunglasses with political buttons on his jacket holds a sign reading "Shut down housing court until coronavirus is past." In the center, a Black woman with a neon yellow T-shirt and black jacket holds a sign reading "Defend your home versus exposure to the virus? No one should have to choose."

Massachusetts Affordable Housing Providers Lead With Voluntary Eviction Moratorium—But There’s More to Do

Boston didn't have the power to suspend evictions itself, so while advocates pushed the courts and the state legislature, affordable housing providers agreed to a voluntary eviction moratorium and the city encouraged other landlords to join.

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.
Artists_COVID sign

A Letter from A Starving Artist

To my fellow artists? Just please, PLEASE, stick around on the planet. I know. It’s getting tougher. For me too. You’re not alone.
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.

Housing Policy Must Change in Wake of COVID-19

COVID-19 will hurt the low-income and housing insecure the most. We must act now to protect them—and ensure safe housing for all going forward. Here's how.

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.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, who stands at a podium in front of an American flag, has proposed legislation that would cancel rents and individual mortgage payments nationwide to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Ilhan Omar Proposes Bill to Cancel Rent, Mortgage Payments During Pandemic

A bill announced today by Rep. Ilhan Omar would release tenants and homeowners from housing payments until the national emergency is lifted, and would make up the losses to landlords and lenders through a federal fund.

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.

What an Effective Eviction Moratorium Must Include

An eviction moratorium must hit all five phases of eviction to protect public health. Here's what's needed for an eviction halt policy to do its job.

Flexibility Key to Vermont Nonprofit’s COVID-19 Homeless Housing Pivot

By mid-March, the state of Vermont and the Champlain Housing Trust were able to offer quarantine space for Burlington’s homeless population.

Lessons from Post 9/11 America for a Post-COVID Society

A post-COVID society can look different from post 9/11 America if we reject racism, focus on the most vulnerable communities, and balance rapid response with long-term strategies that tackle systemic disparities.
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.
green shoot pushing up from under concrete block

Community Development Is Crucial in This Moment

One month ago, when I began the first draft of this article, the world was drastically different. Well before we became part of this...

Why We Must Protect Young People from Homelessness Now

As past economic crises show, insufficient action today could all but ensure that high school and college graduates will struggle with housing insecurity as they age.
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.