Even before the pandemic, we were already facing a housing crisis. Record numbers of people were paying nearly half their income in rent, often cramming multiple people into small apartments. Tent cities were on the rise. Millions had to live far from work to afford housing, adding hours to their commute. Since the pandemic, all of this has only gotten worse.
Big LANDLORDS GET RICHER While millions face eviction!
- In the U.S. 17.3 million adults are behind on their rent or mortgage payments.
- Even during the pandemic, the rent for many vacant units has increased.
- There are 61 billionaire landlords in the U.S. whose collective wealth totals $240.9 billion. Their wealth has increased $24.4 billion since March 2020.
- According to Eviction Lab, during the pandemic landlords have filed for over 360,000 evictions…in just the 5 states and 29 cities they’re tracking! And the corporate landlords were among them.
WHAT HAS the government done about it? Next to Nothing!
- Despite the moratoriums, evictions were not stopped during the pandemic.
- Federal COVID-relief distributed less than $50 billion for rental and mortgage relief — not even enough to scratch the surface of the crisis.
- Eviction moratoriums have just delayed the crisis. As the moratoriums are lifted, millions of foreclosures and evictions will likely begin.
Homelessness continues to be a problem
- In California, the state with the largest unhoused population, Governor Newsom’s “Project Roomkey” was supposed to provide 15,000 hotel rooms to unhoused people in the state.
- If all rooms were filled, it would barely make a dent in the 161,000 unhoused people in the state.
- So far, Project Roomkey has only provided shelter for 1,356 people — that’s less than one percent of the unhoused population.
Their other so-called solutions?
- So-called affordable housing options are either not affordable or are in such short supply that it can take five or more years to get a place to live.
- Other ideas like tiny homes have been proposed to solve the crisis, but the problem isn’t a lack of rooms or buildings – it’s that they are unaffordable.
- Under capitalism, the purpose of housing isn’t to provide people with a decent place to live — it’s to make money.
What do we need?
- Rent and mortgage forgiveness! The millions of people who have lost their jobs, who are struggling just to get by, should not be expected to pay for outrageous housing costs that they can’t afford.
- End to all evictions! No one should be forced out of their home. And those who have been evicted should be rehoused immediately.
- House all unhoused people immediately! There is no reason any of the estimated 580,466 unhoused people in the U.S. should remain unhoused. Empty hotel rooms alone number in the millions, not to mention the thousands of vacant luxury apartments and homes that no one can afford.
Housing is a necessity. No one should have to be afraid of losing their housing or sleeping on the street. The resources exist to keep people in their homes and house those who are unhoused. As long as housing is a for-profit venture, we will face a housing crisis. For this to change, we need to fight for a different system, one that’s run by the majority in our own interests, instead of the interests of a tiny elite.