Due to the massive unemployment occurring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, housing instability is a serious issue for vulnerable low-income populations. Here, we outline the specific problems related to access to housing in the US, policies and organizations in place to help mitigate this, and highlight what is still lacking.
With stay-at-home orders in place and layoffs spiking during the pandemic, many low-income individuals are struggling to pay rent and afford their current housing
People who are homeless and contract coronavirus are twice as likely to be hospitalized, 2-4 times more likely to require critical care, and 2-3 times as likely to die than others in the general public.
If unchecked, as many as 20,000 people who are homeless could require hospitalization and nearly 3,500 could die.
CURRENT GAPS in POLICY
There is currently no emergency rental assistance in place to aid renters after the COVID-19 pandemic, when back-rent is owed and eviction moratoria are lifted.
Additional funds are needed to minimize the number of people living in homeless encampments and congregate shelters and identify alternative space.