Many provisions legislated by the CARES Act expire this week. Stimulus and relief measures were passed at the beginning of the pandemic in March. The severity of the pandemic in the United States was not expected to last this long, so legislators are gathering in Washington this week to discuss another stimulus package.
Up for debate is the eviction moratorium and the supplemental $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance that has prevented people from being kicked out of their homes if they couldn’t pay rent. If these measures aren’t extended, people could be forced out of their homes because of continued unemployment and a recession due to the pandemic. Homelessness will be on the rise and states may address this through investments in public and affordable housing.
Alexandria, Louisiana, is requesting proposals for an affordable housing project. The city intends to construct at least one home a year for the next 5 years. The units will be at least 1,100 square feet and have 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. The city is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants. Bids for this opportunity are due September 25 and construction will begin in December.
Maui County in Hawaii, a state with one of the highest homelessness rates, is seeking proposals of a long-term plan for affordable housing. The plan must include, but is not limited to, “proposed new housing projects, that over the next five years will provide at least 5,000 units affordable to households below 120% Area Median Income, recommendations for an independent housing development corporation, agency, or similar entity to implement the Plan, and Recommendations in priority order for revisions to the Residential Workforce Housing Policy, with an analysis of the economic feasibility and expected impact on development.” Bids for this opportunity are due August 14.
Homelessness is already a problem across the country and the expiration of an eviction moratorium in the middle of a pandemic and recession will only exacerbate this issue. Housing is a human right and should be treated as such.
About the Author
Grant Sarver is from Suwanee, Georgia. He is currently an undergraduate pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Sociology at the University of Georgia with an expected graduation in December 2020. He is most interested in human rights and social equality and plans to work for an entity that helps fulfill people’s human rights.