Opinion: Overturning the Federal Eviction Moratorium Was a Mistake
The pandemic showed us the unbreakable connection between health and housing.
By Rosanne Haggerty
When the Supreme Court ended the CDC’s eviction moratorium three months ago, it violated a foundational public health principle: that safe housing is essential to individual and population health.
While communities brace themselves for the short- and long-term health, economic and civic impacts of a potential looming wave of evictions – an estimated 5.9 million renters fell behind on rent during the pandemic – the Supreme Court’s fumble can be the jolt needed to reinvigorate the role of public health in housing. Unstable housing, eviction and homelessness are known health threats facing millions of our neighbors. A strengthened public health system can mitigate this accelerating crisis.
We see this promise every day at Community Solutions, the organization I lead that supports more than 90 cities and counties in reaching a measurable, equitable end to homelessness. The communities are part of our Built for Zero movement, which approaches homelessness as an urgent and solvable public health and racial equity challenge. Fourteen of these communities have already ended chronic homelessness and/or homelessness among military veterans, and 44 more are seeing steady reductions by applying public health practices used to eradicate diseases.
While the federal moratorium has ended, the role of the CDC and state and local public health agencies in preventing evictions and homelessness should just be beginning.
Read the full op-ed here, or by clicking the button below.