The COVID-19 pandemic both highlighted eviction as a public health crisis and exacerbated the problem. In a new article published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, housing law experts, Katie Moran-McCabe and Scott Burris at the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research, call for a realignment in how we think about and approach the housing crisis — and eviction in particular — in America.
Moran-McCabe and Burris call for a national recognition of housing as a fundamental need, and offer a few practical recommendations on where governments may start:
- Removing barriers to affordable, integrated development to increase the supply of new affordable housing in neighborhoods of opportunity;
- Using legal tools to stabilize housing prices and tenancy, such as rent-stabilization laws and just-cause eviction laws;
- Addressing economic barriers, such as high housing costs and low income for tenants, by raising the minimum wage, changing tax policies, and fully funding the federal housing voucher program.
These recommendations are among many others originally presented in the sixth report in a comprehensive series for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2020, Health Equity through Housing: A Blueprint for Systematic Legal Action.