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.

 

Crossing the Digital Divide During COVID

Flyers, phone calls, and podcasts, oh my! Organizations blend past and present strategies to stay in touch with community members.

As the Pandemic Continues, Officials Look to Long-Term Housing Options with Hotels

Advocates point to a bevy of successes in slowing the spread of the virus, but authorities struggle with cost burden.
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.
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?
Domestic Violence survivor.

Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors From Eviction

COVID-19 has led to a surge in intimate partner violence. The Violence Against Women Act prohibits evictions of survivors simply because they have experienced violence in their homes, but such protections can be lacking in LIHTC-funded developments.
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?
home with sold sign

This Moment Calls for Finally Making Homeownership Access Fair

The worsening housing crisis shows that we must develop comprehensive tools and programs to keep families housed and their assets preserved.

Building Camaraderie in a Virtual Workspace

How one community development corporation's youth program flourished during the pandemic
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.
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.

Struggling Landlords Should Favor Rent Forgiveness

If we simply pay tenants’ rent indiscriminately, we have no way of knowing where the ultimate benefit goes.
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.

Tobacco Causes Cancer. Can it Also Build Housing?

“Sin taxes” usually fund health and education programs. Will Colorado add housing to that list? And should they?
A street in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

How Santa Fe Prevented Evictions with Easy Access to Rent Relief

Last year, tenant advocacy groups convinced the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, to give cash quickly to residents at risk of eviction. As federal rent relief money trickles out, what can other areas learn from Santa Fe’s program?
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.

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.

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.
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.