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.

 

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.

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.
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.

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?

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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,...

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.
handpainted sign says "I think we are doing a beautiful job figuring out some heavy shit"

Response to Pandemic Shows What’s Possible in Housing

We’re seeing bold actions from states across the U.S.—from strong eviction moratoriums in Massachusetts to a major homeless initiative in California. What if these new housing measures were designed to last beyond the coronavirus crisis?

Housing Organizing in the Year of the Pandemic

California housing organizers reflect on what changes, and what stays the same, during a pandemic.

Affordable Housing Providers Fear the Worst Pandemic Impacts Are Yet to Come

There has been a dip in rent collections over the last several months, but not the precipitous plunge off a cliff that seemed plausible in the early days of the pandemic. However, housing providers are once again expecting the worst.
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.
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.
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
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.

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.