"An Eviction Pandemic"

"There's tremendous urgency," says Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "There are millions of renters who can't sleep at night because they don't know what they're going to do if they become homeless."

In fact, experts are conservatively estimating that we are going to see 30 million Americans who live in rental housing are at risk of eviction by the end of September.

The implications of this looming eviction crisis are terrifying. For a while, unemployed Americans received a $600-a-week federal stipend, which allowed Americans to keep up with their monthly rent payments and did mitigate some of the devastating economic effects of the pandemic. However, these benefits are coming to a standstill, the majority of businesses are still closed, and rent is still due on the first of the month. So now what? Many of the proposed government actions will do little to stop the tidal wave of evictions coming our way. None of the boo boo proposals outright ban evictions/ foreclosures nor provide any bail out of renters suffering from financial hardship as a result of COVID 19.

This begs the question: when is our national response gonna stop operating under a veneer of change and from a mindset of scarcity? And Jeff Bozo got $71 billion richer? Are we still, STILL going to be deluded by the chase and allure of the cut-throat world of “competition” and “market-based principles”? Who tf is running this establishment? Clearly, I have many questions. But one thing is clear: we have to re-establish our priorities once again in favor of noble and worthy intentions. Social justice, the general welfare and equity shouldn’t be lost on us. No, they should be what drive us.This pandemic affects all of us. No matter who we are. No matter where we are in the country.

As history–and this pandemic–would show, our current system is just a flimsy house of cards. At times it seems to be a clubhouse where America’s faceless bureaucrats gather to push their own agenda during Covid. At others, public officials appear to be as passive as pawns, simply trying to go along to get along. Nevertheless, these challenges reveal a silver lining: that in unprecedented instability, we may find unprecedented opportunity for vast change. It can be a moment in which the collective disenfranchisement that so many of us are feeling–which have thus far empowered divisive forces-can transform into unifying ones. We may find newfound urgency to reimagine a more effective system and a better world as we continue to navigate forward.

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With love,
Ashleigh

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