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.

 

Housing Organizing in the Year of the Pandemic

California housing organizers reflect on what changes, and what stays the same, during a pandemic.
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.
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?
A multicolored tent in house's front yard. A sign on the fence says "Moratorium on foreclosures and evictions" and a sign on the house reads "Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign"

The Many Fronts of COVID-19 Related Housing Needs and Measures

Stable housing is crucial during a pandemic. Front-line providers and local governments are moving to address the impacts, but they need more federal funds

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.

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.
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 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.
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.

How Nonprofits Are Adapting to Serve Immigrants During COVID

COVID-19 quickly exacerbated instability in housing, health care, and income for immigrant communities. How have CDCs stepped up to help?
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.

A Bolder Future for Housing Justice: ‘These Times Call for Radical Actions’

Housing advocates working at the local, state, and national levels discuss new research and policy recommendations for advancing housing justice.
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,...

Making Eviction Diversion Meaningful in Massachusetts

Whether the governor’s rent relief and eviction diversion program will keep people in their homes depends on whether landlords can be persuaded—or compelled—to participate.
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.

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.

Pollution, Place, and the Unnecessary Tragedy of Premature Death: Lessons for COVID-19

In Louisville, low-income and Black populations living in neighborhoods dealing with decades of industrial pollution are now suffering the worst public health outcomes of COVID-19.
close-up image safety net of rope

Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers Would Strengthen the Safety Net

It’s time to mend the housing safety net. The COVID-19 crisis has thrown light on the fragility of millions of American families for whom...

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.

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.