News Roundup

  • Federal Housing Aid for COVID-19 Crisis Expands to Owners and Renters

    Congressional lawmakers have agreed on $2 trillion in stimulus funding to address the risks COVID-19 places on people experiencing homelessness and renters coping with income loss, including added funds for rental assistance. The action follows announcements of relief to mortgage holders from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The mortgage relief applies to segments of the owner-occupied and renter-occupied stock. Advocates say that Black and Hispanic Americans, who are most likely to be low-wage workers and renters, will be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

  • How Does a “Stay at Home” Order Impact People Experiencing Homelessness?

    Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that the statewide “stay at home” order does not apply to people experiencing homelessness or people whose residences are unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence. Inslee urged those experiencing homelessness to obtain shelter and encouraged governmental entities to maximize available shelter.

  • Texas’s COVID-19 Response Yet to Address Lack of Funding, Overcrowding in Homeless Shelters

    Without targeted state or federal aid, local governments and service providers in Texas struggle to confront the unique challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. As demand for shelter increases, many agencies in Texas turned away from their usual charge to increase capacity and are instead focusing on how to safely distance beds. Dallas and Fort Worth are using their convention centers for shelter overflow and hope to have space to spread out beds to comply with six-foot social distancing. In El Paso, the Opportunity Center shelter adopted a head-to-toe sleeping arrangement to maximize the distance between faces. 

  • Amid California's “Stay at Home” Order, Housing Supply Priority Continues

    Governor of California Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay at home order labeled construction an essential service that can continue on through the COVID-19 crisis. Though pandemic mitigation is the state’s immediate priority, California’s housing shortage remains a pressing, and related, concern. “The construction industry is adapting to the new normal and figuring out how to build the shelters, navigation centers, affordable housing, and other types of housing that we need,” said San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu.

  • College Students Face Unemployment, Housing and Food Insecurity as Campuses Close

    Colleges and universities across the US are shutting down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campuses, and some students are facing serious economic and housing struggles as a result. Kicked out of dormitories, students who don’t have a residence to return to must seek out alternate off-campus living situations. Additionally, the closure of restaurants and retail shops have led to many college students losing part- and full-time jobs. Although some universities, including Harvard, Duke, and Northeastern, committed to issuing housing and dining refunds to students, many have yet to issue final decisions.