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.
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.
hotel room

What’s Next for Those Staying in Hotels During the Pandemic?

As tourism remains slumped for the foreseeable future, some state and local governments are looking to create long-term housing for those who have been helped by temporary projects during the 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.
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...
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. 

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.
small business close

Help for Small Businesses

What kinds of emergency measures are advocacy organizations proposing to make sure that when small businesses can open again, they’ll be financially able to do so?

Health Care Institutions Must Acknowledge Their Role in Neighborhood Change

If those in health care seek to develop new ways to help patients stay in their homes, they must also find ways to temper how they affect communities in which they reside.

Massachusetts Showed States How to Create an Eviction Ban. Now It’s Backpedaling

The Massachusetts eviction moratorium—one of the strongest in the nation—expired, just in time for winter. How did this happen?

States Use CARES Act Funds to Keep Renters Afloat, But It Won’t Be Enough

More than a dozen states are using Community Development Block Grant funding from the CARES Act to fund emergency rental and mortgage assistance programs.
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.

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.
in New York, a person walks to the left holding a stop sign.

New York State Stiffs Nonprofits

Is New York the canary in the coal mine when it comes to a nonprofit funding collapse?

Is the Pandemic Improving Affordable Housing Asset Management?

Resident services has long been the first to be cut in hard times—but for some housing providers that may be changing.
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.
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.

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.
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.

5,000 Meals—Little Tokyo Orgs, Restaurants Team Up to Feed Low-Income Seniors

The Little Tokyo Eats program has so far purchased over $55,000 in food from 11 local restaurants for seniors living in low-income housing in a Los Angeles neighborhood. How did the program make it through a rough first week of food fulfillment?