Recap: Housing Instability and COVID-19
During a donor briefing on July 24, a panel of Connecticut housing advocates discussed the current crisis within the larger context of preexisting disparities and segregation.
Erin Kemple, Executive Director, Connecticut Fair Housing Center
Alexis Smith, Executive Director, New Haven Legal Assistance
Christina Ciociola, Senior Vice President for Grantmaking and Strategy, The Community Foundation
Kellyann Day, CEO, New Reach, Board Member, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
What We Heard
- The housing crisis existed prior to COVID-19 and is mushrooming.
- In previous years, CT averaged 20,000 evictions, or 18 per week.
- In 2020, eviction filings in CT are predicted to double to 40,000.
- A moratorium on evictions is offering a temporary reprieve but set to expire in August. When the moratorium ends, the housing court will be overwhelmed.
- Legal representation is essential to effectively fight an eviction.
- The crisis is falling hardest on people of color, who are more likely to be renters and at risk for income loss.
- Housing costs are rising because of a recent influx of people moving to Connecticut.
- Applying to government housing assistance programs is cumbersome and inaccessible because of application requirements, limited staff to handle requests, and long wait times.
- The cancel rent movement does not advocate for landlords to not be paid. Rather, advocates are seeking to put the burden for applying for aid on the landlords.
- Every municipality needs to increase its amount of affordable housing.
What We Can Do
- Support affordable housing in your community.
- Support the efforts of affordable housing advocates.
- Desegregate Connecticut
- COVID-19 in Connecticut: Data Analysis. DataHaven
- Judge: Will Evictions Cause Covid Spike? New Haven Independent
- As $600 weekly unemployment benefits end, a wave of evictions is expected in CT. CT Mirror
- The Community Foundation's COVID-19 Resource Page
- The Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund