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.

 

destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy

What Prior Disasters Have Taught Housing Advocates About How to Respond to COVID-19

When it comes to helping people maintain or recover their housing, hurricanes and fires aren’t as different from a pandemic as one might think.
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.
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.

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.

Rent Strikes Launching Around the World May 1

Organizers calling for the cancellation of rent are taking to digital platforms to get the word out about the action, where tenants will withhold some or all of their rent until their conditions are met.

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.
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.

Nonprofit Housing Providers Face Down COVID-19

As organizers struggle to get strong eviction moratoriums passed and enforced around the country, there’s one sector where evictions during the pandemic were not...
homeowners_foreclosure sign

Don’t Just Defer Loans—Start Modifying Loans Now

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.

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.
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.
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.
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?
Sanitation worker Bobby Parker was illegally evicted from his home for paying his rent late. He's seen here, walking the streets of New Orleans.

High-Risk, Essential, and Illegally Evicted

Eviction moratoriums are only as good as their enforcement, as one man’s harrowing story in New Orleans shows.
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...
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,...
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. 
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?
HUD Secretary Ben Carson smiles as his folds his hands in front of his chest.

HUD Urged to Make Tenant Income Adjustments Automatic by April 1

Preventing catastrophe when eviction moratoriums lift requires reducing tenants' rent quickly—which advocates say is fully within HUD's power.
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...