August 7, 2020
The nationwide protests over the past few months are a response to the tragic murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers — and to the longstanding racial injustices plaguing our nation. Among these systemic crises is housing inequity and its impact on health.
Millions of people nationwide lack stable housing due to extremely high rent, domestic issues such as living with an abuser, or various other causes. In New York specifically, hundreds of thousands of low-income residents fall into this category, with a disproportionate number of these people being Black and Latino. In this time of COVID-19 when stable housing is more critical than ever, people of color are overwhelmingly suffering from the negative health impacts of not having a home.
We must now firmly address – and federally fund — stable housing, as a crucial pillar of public health and racial justice. New York offers a clear example of why this is so important.
For the past 15 years, rent costs in New York have spiked upwards, eating up more and more of residents’ income. With millions of New Yorkers unemployed during the pandemic and the state eviction moratorium set to end in August, many New Yorkers face an imminent risk of losing their homes. Without comprehensive federal aid for state and local governments to preserve housing stability, we also risk eliminating much of the hard-won progress New York has made in the fight against COVID-19.