I was thrilled to learn of AHFC’s financial relief for rent and mortgage assistance, but a $1200 payment by lottery is certainly only a Band-Aid on the gaping wound of housing insecurity. An “eviction tsunami” may soon wash many renters out to the sea of homelessness that already impacts far too many.
One in four Americans lost their jobs in this pandemic, and many are facing the looming threat of losing their homes. Some in Congress continue to take a “wait-and-see” attitude with the economy, but in a crisis, patience is a luxury only a privileged few can afford. I urge Congress to push for quick passage of a COVID-19 bill that includes at least $100 billion for emergency rental assistance and a national moratorium on evictions. Most Americans support these measures. After all, it’s far more fiscally and socially responsible to help our neighbors keep their homes than it is to help them become housed again after being evicted for circumstances beyond their control. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Will homelessness be the legacy of COVID-19? If Congress does not act soon, it will.
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