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.

With:
Erin Kemple, Executive Director, Connecticut Fair Housing Center
Alexis Smith, Executive Director, New Haven Legal Assistance

Facilitated by:
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.

Stay Informed