With the upcoming expiration of unemployment insurance programs and the end of the nationwide eviction moratorium, Brookings fellow Jenny Schuetz shares insight on how to implement the most effective rent relief programs.
A recently published piece by Jenny Schuetz, a fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, examines important considerations in cities' rent relief programs and offers advice for how these programs could be improved during the ongoing slate of evictions and the impending deepening of the eviction crisis. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide eviction moratorium set to expire on December 31, local governments face a new set of challenges in planning for effective rental assistance programs, executing those plans, and assessing the success of their policies.
At the beginning of the process, says Schuetz, localities should invest time in identifying specific and measurable goals in order to usefully plan around the best ways to achieve those goals and to identify possible challenges in implementing that plan. Schuetz notes three important questions that policymakers need to consider in making decisions related to this planning: Who will receive the relief? How will the funds be rationed? What will be included in the application process?
In addition to these considerations, Schuetz highlights the importance of accounting for the way in which a rent relief program interrelate to existing local housing programs. "Landlord-tenant laws vary across states and localities, creating an uneven patchwork of tenant protections such as landlord-tenant mediation programs, right to counsel, and the overall transparency and accountability of eviction processes," writes Schuetz. The disconnected nature of various legal processes related to tenant's rights produces challenges for local governments attempting to administer financial assistance. "Designating a single point of contact within the local government could help coordinate and integrate various programs," Schuetz suggests.
Schuetz also points out that a one-off relief payout does not match the long-lasting impact of long-term housing subsidies and that "ongoing evaluation is essential in making sure the programs achieve their goals and use limited resources effectively."
Planning for Congestion Relief
The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.
Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think
Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.
What Role Does Health Care Play in Community Development?
Cities are economically diverse and require accessible health care systems, but this can be challenging to implement. Urban developers are working alongside health professionals to create affordable care for city residents.
Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’
A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.
Urban Design, Transport, and Health
The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!
Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years
In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.
City of Redwood City
City of Rohnert Park
City of Hot Springs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.