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Archive for October, 2020

Your vote matters

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog, News

We are now only a matter of days away from the November 3rd general election. While registration deadlines have passed in many states, there are still places where you can register in person, and possibly even cast a provisional ballot on election day. There is lots coming out in the news about polling locations, voter suppression tactics, and last minute candidate education efforts. We wanted to be sure that people with unstable housing, and their advocates, have the latest information to ensure that all residents of the country can exercise their right to vote!

We are thrilled to share these state-by-state voting Know-Your-Rights cards that include information directed specifically towards voters who may not have a permanent address. 

While registration deadlines have passed in most states, you still have time to register, in person, in CO, DC, HI, ID, ME, MD, MI, MN, MT, NH, NM, NC, ND, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY; many of which allow same day registration on election day or during early voting periods. Click here to find the latest ID and address guidelines for registering to vote and casting a ballot in your state. You can also find more about mail-in ballot options here

There are reports from communities across the country that voters are being given misinformation in order to suppress or discount their votes. Our Know-Your-Rights cards list state and local election websites. If you are ever in doubt, or have questions about voting, your local government-run elections board or office can always help you out. We also encourage you to contact 1-866-OUR-VOTE, especially if you feel you are being wrongly turned away from voting at the polls. This a well respected and accessible hotline, staffed by lawyers who can directly assist you with casting your ballot. 

Read more about how communities are ensuring those with unstable housing are voting this year below, and Get Out the UnHoused Vote!

Articles:
How Do You Vote In Kansas City When You Don’t Have An Address?
Voting is a challenge for the homeless. Advocates are trying to make it easier.
Community leaders help people experiencing homelessness vote
Voting Is a Right. But for People Experiencing Homelessness, It’s Especially Difficult.

Eviction during a Pandemic: Hope or Hopelessness?

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog, News

by Kelvin Lassiter

Evictions are more complicated than just the actual meaning. At its root cause, we may be able to list job loss, medical issues, and loss of spouse/domestic violence as examples that are at the surface. It’s bigger than someone failing to fulfill their obligation in exchange for not being on the street.

Estimated numbers of people at risk of eviction are staggering; 30 to 40 million in the next several months are at risk for becoming housing insecure according to the Aspen Institute. 

There are 3 things currently standing in the way of mass displacement due to eviction:

  • CDC moratorium
  • Local moratorium
  • Legal Aid and rental assistance 

On September 2, 2020, The Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield signed a declaration determining that the evictions of tenants could be detrimental to public health. This action was instrumental since the CARES Act moratorium expired in late July.

Some city and state governments issued eviction prevention moratoriums at the beginning of the public health emergency which have since expired.

Three main reasons why tenants are still being evicted from their homes:

  • Landlord intimidation of tenants
  • Tenants not aware of their rights as renters
  • Lack of legal representation in court 

Landlords have taken measures into their own hands during this public health crisis. While they depend on payments for survival, boarding up doors, shutting of utilities, and filing for eviction with the courts does not make a tenant speed up their ability to pay rent. The fine print on a lease may become a challenge to understand and it’s a tool used by management companies to evict.

What can be done to protect the American People?

A fifth coronavirus package to protect the American people, extending the CDC moratorium beyond December is pivotal in blocking the wave of evictions. An executive order by local, and state governments can potentially protect certain groups of Americans from evictions such as the elderly, and domestic violence survivors.

There are benefits for families to stay in their homes. Kids are able to focus in school and decrease the chance of suffering from lack of rest and food insecurity. Prevention of long term mental instability is also a plus.

Should we have hope in that a piece meal approach that has slowed down what’s inevitable? Or will people remain hopeless in the lack of assistance to help Americans sustain their quality of life?

Make no mistake, the United States will face a housing crisis not seen since the great depression regarding housing insecurity. Most moratoriums put in place at the beginning of the pandemic have expired causing massive amounts of eviction filings by landlords.

What will happen if the CDC moratorium on evictions is not extended past December 2020? The jury is still out on that answer, however, the American people must have a say, and challenge our elected officials to do what they were elected to do, legislate. 

Available resources:

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