The Eviction Crisis
On Monday at 4:45 AM, Representative Cori Bush—a nurse, activist, organizer, single mom & pastor, as described in her bio posted on Twitter:
I am so proud that the U.S. Congress finally includes representatives like Rep. Cori Bush, whose own life experiences more closely resemble what too many Americans see and feel themselves. Rep. Cori Bush was herself evicted three times in her life before coming to Congress, and she wrote about this period in an op-ed for Time.
“Today, as a Congresswoman, I remember what it was like for us to live out of my car when I’m thinking about how to legislate on behalf of my district. I think about how society wanted me to believe that being unhoused was my fault. We have a deeply rooted misconception in our country that unhoused people have done something to deserve their conditions ─ when the reality is that unhoused people are living the consequences of our government’s failure to secure the basic necessities people need to survive.”
While we are gratified that following President Biden’s action, the CDC has issued a new extension on the eviction ban, we need our government to act immediately to keep as many people in their homes for as long as possible. More than 11 million Americans are behind on their rent, and as this Washington Post investigation makes clear, only a fraction of the funds appropriated to assist renters has been spent.
With the Delta variant surging across the nation, we must ensure that we don’t multiply the risk to vulnerable families by forcing them out of their homes. Over the next four years, the COVID-19-related recession will cause twice as much homelessness as the Great Recession. Women and families are the fastest-growing segments of the homeless population, accounting for 34 percent of the total homeless population. Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children, 22 and 57 percent of homelessness among women is caused by domestic violence and 38 percent of women who experience domestic violence also experience homelessness. Last year, calls to domestic abuse hotlines increased as much as 26 percent about the 2019 average.
What’s more, the unhoused crisis in this country is a public health emergency and a moral and policy failure. NOW is honored to partner with the Bring America Home Now Campaign in this critical work to address the homelessness[DB6] crisis because we know the impact and intersection of systemic injustice, gender, and racial discrimination has on communities. In partnership with our coalition, we will work on the national and local level to move toward a holistic approach – working to develop comprehensive legislation that helps address health, wage disparity, education, systemic racism, and housing.
NOW is also proud to support Rep. Bush’s call for Congress to reconvene and the eviction moratorium reinstated. Congress must also take up Rep. Bush’s bill, the Unhoused Bill of Rights, a federal resolution calling Congress to end the unhoused crisis by 2025 permanently. We are calling on the White House and Congress to back an immediate extension of the eviction moratorium and pass legislation to expedite delivery of the already allocated funds. We demand that the federal government enact policies that permanently end the unhoused crisis. The clock is ticking—evictions are happening now.