According to the Covid Hardship Watch series by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, overall hardship rates plummeted after the release of the American Rescue Plan in 2021. However, did you know there are some 20 million adults going without regular meals, and 11 million renters falling behind on their rent payments? No wonder there’s housing insecurity.
Eviction Moratorium Ends
As the 2020 eviction moratorium ends, it’s evident there is a lot of housing insecurity, with renters fearful they’ll face eviction soon. According to the Aspen Institute, nearly 40 million people could be affected by eviction notices within months. $100 billion is needed in emergency rental assistance and another eviction moratorium to prevent homelessness on a historical scale.
The housing insecurity crisis has many people concerned, including professionals in the industry.
“The unforeseen effects of the pandemic have placed an unexpected strain on families that, in some cases, is unrecoverable. The government has extended its reach to assist. Still, the time has come for the housing industry to create unique solutions that will keep residents in their homes and point to a bright future.” says a spokesperson from Ohana Home Solutions a business buying homes pre-foreclosure.
As looming eviction notices and financial hardships continue to plague the American population, dozens of researchers and housing specialists are looking for new ways to extend a helping hand. New techniques call for eliminating excess pressures, coupled with insightful data about evictions and their primary factors. These have been used to create meaningful solutions for at-risk populations all over the country.
Housing Insecurity Solutions
A primary solution includes housing structures with an additional level of mobility. Lower housing costs may offer the opportunity to retain more of personal monthly income, promoting excellent financial habits and a stronger, more vibrant economy.
Rent subsidies, mortgage forbearance programs
Long-term stability from reduced housing costs offers homeowners the opportunity to reinvest in themselves, including their health, education, and future.
Opportunities such as rent subsidies or mortgage forbearance programs may offset the effects of the 2020 eviction moratorium.
Collaboration – civic engagement
Promoting civic engagement may identify another solution. Homeowners and renters who are unhappy with their current housing situations have the opportunity to vote on legislation that matters most to them. Increased civic engagement creates a cyclical feedback loop stemming from an individual’s feelings of success, power, and belonging—incentives to vote to have the ability to make a significant impact on the community at large.
Improve Building Codes
According to health officials, a possible third solution to housing insecurity may come from:
- Better building codes – prevent poor quality homes
- Lead abatement programs
- Household energy efficiency
Overall, housing quality dramatically affects the mental and physical health of those living inside. Chronic illness or pain stemming from poor housing could reduce overall earning potential, making it more challenging to manage rent payments over time.
Looking for new ways to increase earning potential could be a great way to reduce eviction rates stemming from COVID-19 and beyond.
Increasing homeowner financial education is a fourth potential policy. Households can save more of their own money have a dramatically lowered chance of entering the eviction cycle. In addition, more saved funds equate to better mobility in the future and more positive outcomes for children and young adults.
Free workshops and government-sponsored programs can add to the education solution, although they are not always adequate on their own. Opportunities for financial management are also meaningful. Some programs, including the Micro-Mortgage Marketplace, help lower-income families secure small mortgages for sustainable housing solutions.
Deconcentration of Grouped Housing Neighbourhoods
The fifth and final housing solution for evictions requires a de-cluttering of closely grouped housing options. Section 8 homes, along with other government subsidized living areas, are often sequestered in smaller groups far away from other neighborhoods. Low-income homeowners may have additional opportunities to grow and change their long-term legacies by deconcentrating these environments and adding new homes within high-opportunity neighbourhoods.
Time will tell if these five housing solutions can change housing insecurity for millions of homeowners across the United States. As the effects of the pandemic continue to wane, experts hope for a full recovery that improves high eviction rates and lower stability.
A focus on holistic upward innovation, and empathy, will undoubtedly yield results as the year continues. For millions of housing insecure adults around the country, solutions offer hope for a brighter tomorrow.