Opinion: The Housing Crisis Isn't Going Away With the Pandemic

As the housing crisis rages on, the housing assistance infrastructure put in place during the pandemic can provide a model for long-term aid programs.

1 minute read

November 30, 2021, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock

"As the pandemic surged across America, Congress and the White House made available more than $75 billion to support at-risk renters and homeowners, and even more in flexible relief funds that could be used for housing aid." Gregory Heller, a director and affordable-housing subject matter expert at Guidehouse, argues that the government should use this example to implement similar policies outside the pandemic, treating the housing crisis as a disaster not dissimilar from COVID-19 or natural disasters.

The programs billed as disaster relief put in place during the pandemic showed that it is possible to distribute funds and aid quickly, writes Heller. "Now that we have started to view and respond to America’s housing instability crisis as a disaster, one thing is clear: We cannot go back to the way we funded housing before; otherwise, we’ll simply return to the pre-pandemic status quo."

To Heller, the infrastructure developed around pandemic relief programs provides a powerful opportunity to build on these programs and "recognize that this disaster will not end when the health and economic impacts of the pandemic are behind us." Thus, Heller says, the government should continue to invest in and strengthen infrastructure and programs that address housing instability.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 in Governing

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