I have always believed that affordable housing is the foundation of thriving communities. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to dismantle that foundation as renters and housing providers alike struggle to meet their financial obligations.
In my recent op-ed for The Hill, I shared why the current eviction moratorium mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will ultimately harm the very people it aims to help. A hold on evictions is one piece of the puzzle that helps keep people in their homes, but in order to alleviate the stress that is weighing on our economic system and threatening the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors, we need emergency rental assistance for those who are struggling to cover housing costs. A tenant’s inability to pay rent has an upstream effect on owners who depend on rental income to pay taxes, mortgages, and other obligations. Giving tenants assistance specifically to pay rent could stave off a rash of defaulted mortgages which would primarily affect rental properties for low-, moderate- and middle-income households, leading to a staggering disinvestment in, or loss of, affordable housing.