Bay Area and Statewide Community Organizations Call for Emergency Federal Action on COVID-19 Public Health and Economic Crises
Letter signed by over 100 organizations spanning affordable housing, homelessness, public health, labor, faith, transportation
(California) More than 100 of the Bay Area and state’s leading non-profit and community organizations sent an emergency letter to Speaker Pelosi and the California Congressional delegation today that directs lawmakers to take immediate action on housing policy to directly address the COVID-19 environment in California and nation-wide.
“We need an action plan now that offers crisis relief and crisis recovery, and this pandemic has exposed even more deeply how foundational housing is to the health of our communities and the success of our economy,” said Amie Fishman, Executive Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH).
The letter identified that the global pandemic requires a two-fold response to both address the public health crisis now as well as the emerging economic crisis ahead. The 100 organizations, which included affordable housing and homelessness organizations, faith-based groups, labor councils, governmental agencies, foundations, and other community organizations urged Congress to take the following actions immediately:
1. Pass sweeping rental/debt relief for all households which are no longer able to pay their rents or mortgages as a result of COVID-19;
2. Designate affordable housing as essential infrastructure in any future Infrastructure Stimulus package.
California is the nation’s largest economy, and the 5th largest economy in the globe. The letter asserts the critical role of housing as essential infrastructure, in advance of Congress’ consideration of future relief policy and future stimulus spending.
“In California, so many families have already been living paycheck to paycheck. We can’t afford for anyone to become unhoused or remain unhoused during this public health crisis,” said Tomiquia Moss, founder and CEO of All Home. “We’ve seen that swift, decisive, and effective action is possible in the face of COVID-19 and we won’t settle for anything less than urgent action when it comes to the ongoing housing crisis.”
Housing investments would help America’s workforce get back on their feet, offer protections for the individuals and families who have and will suffer layoffs and cutbacks, as well as pumps billions of dollars into the nation’s economy by creating tens of thousands of new jobs through housing construction.
“In a state where we’ve long been thinking about, working on, and passing local solutions for housing and homelessness, we’re urging Congress to heed our recommendations on this issue,” said Fishman. “As old systems fall away, we have the opportunity to build a new future.”
Signers demonstrate widespread support across geography, industry, and organization type. Signers, organized by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and All Home, include California Coalition for Rural Housing, California Coalition for Youth, California Housing Partnership (CHPC), California Reinvestment Coalition, Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, Eden Housing, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Loreto Sisters, Jamboree Housing, Mercy Housing, MidPen Housing, Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Association of Bay Area Governments (MTC/ABAG), Sacramento Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, Sacramento Housing Alliance, San Francisco Foundation, Los Angeles LISC, San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), Silicon Valley Community Foundation, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 5, Volunteers of America National Services, and many more. For the full list of signers, view the letter here.
The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) is the Bay Area’s voice for affordable housing. NPH envisions a future where everyone has an affordable and stable home. NPH represents thousands of individuals and organizations, including affordable housing developers, advocates, community leaders, and businesses, working to secure resources, promote good policy, educate the public, and support affordable homes as the foundation for thriving individuals, families and neighborhoods. For more information about NPH, visit www.nonprofithousing.org
All Home advances regional solutions that disrupt the cycles of poverty and homelessness and create more economic mobility opportunities for extremely low-income (ELI) people. All Home works across regions, sectors and silos to advance coordinated, innovative service delivery and build coalition-supported momentum to challenge the long-standing systems that perpetuate homelessness. For more information about All Home, visit www.allhomeca.org
Alina Harway, NPH Communications Director