Advocating for Residents of Public and Subsidized Housing During the COVID-19 Emergency

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Low income families residing in subsidized housing are particularly vulnerable to wage loss and layoffs during the shelter in place order. Even slight reductions in family income can have direct impact on a family’s ability to pay for housing, and a period of three weeks or more with reduced or no income may lead to an inability to pay rent. Without robust emergency protections for these families from housing authorities and their contract agencies, this situation could rapidly escalate to an increase in housing insecurity and in families becoming unsheltered.

BayLegal has sent a version of the attached letter to 9 Bay Area housing authorities, requesting common sense changes in approach during the public health crisis, including:

  • suspension of all public and subsidized housing evictions;
  • suspension of all voucher terminations;
  • suspension of all rent increases wherever possible;
  • identification of available units for individuals or families who are homeless or housing unstable;
  • deadline extensions for submission of required documentation to accommodate tenants who cannot submit paperwork in person for health and safety reasons; and
  • a streamlined process for electronic submission of documentation.

Our goal is to facilitate compliance with necessary public health orders by softening the blow of income loss on families in public and subsidized housing. We encourage housing authorities throughout the Bay Area to take these steps in the interest of equitable treatment for their residents, and greater success at “flattening the curve” for the region as a whole.

Read our Housing authority letter.