Why is this work important?
We all want opportunities for our children to be stable, to create a good foundation for achievement into adulthood. When children and their families have a safe, stable and decent home, it provides children with structure and security boosting their physical and mental health.
COVID-19 is a pandemic that has impacted all of us directly or indirectly. The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 exacerbated the existing gaps between wages and housing costs. Those individuals employed in the child care, restaurant and other industries were suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed or faced a decrease in work hours.
There is still uncertainty about the economy and how quickly jobs will return. Without reliable income, it is easy for these families to be behind in paying their rent, putting them at risk of eviction.
With some initial planning and foresight, we can help these families remain stable and in their own homes. Community leaders and government can adopt five strategies to prevent evictions:
- Rental assistance to help people pay their rent;
- Mediation to work out disputes without going through the court system;
- Outreach to those tenants and neighborhoods hardest hit to ensure they know about and apply for available resources;
- Engagement with landlords to find alternative solutions beyond eviction; and
- Expansion of legal representation for tenants.