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Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis (2021)

Chapter: Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 7
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 8
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 9
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 10
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 11
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 12
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 14
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 15
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 16
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 17
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 18
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 19
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 20
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 21
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 22
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 23
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 24
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 25
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 26
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 27
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Workshop Presentation: Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26106.
×
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SUMMARY: THE RENTAL EVICTION CRISIS Strategic Approach The range and complexity of issues and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the socioeconomic well-being of the United States call for innovative approaches to the development of a strategic response. Recognizing that the scope of some problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects is so great that no one office or even agency sees them as within its portfolio, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine established the Response and Resilient Recovery Strategic Science Initiative (R3SSI).1 This new National Academies initiative, which produced this report, is charged with identifying and addressing these broad, pressing problems and formulating strategic solutions. For the initiative’s pilot study, the R3SSI Executive Council selected rental evictions and housing instability as a large, timely, and critically important problem that would benefit from a strategic set of interventions. An ad hoc Strategy Group of 22 distinguished experts in the fields of health, economy, housing, modeling, justice, and community engagement related to the pandemic was selected and tasked with analyzing COVID-19 impacts on rental property evictions within low- and middle-income communities and disadvantaged groups in the near and medium terms (6–24 months and 3–5 years, respectively). The statement of task in Appendix A describes the initial charge to the Strategy Group. The group then refined the timeframes to be explored to include the near, short, and medium terms (see below) and focused the scope of the study by formulating the following guiding question: What actions can be taken by the government, private-sector entities, communities, and individuals to reduce rental housing instability2 and rental evictions3 exacerbated by COVID-19–related strains on household finances, and to mitigate the health, human dignity, social, and economic costs or impacts of those evictions that do occur? To address this question, the Strategy Group generated a set of potential actions using a scenario planning approach, which aided the group in identifying a set of actions that would reduce evictions across a wide range of underlying economic, social, and public health outcomes. Appendix B describes the scenario planning approach in greater detail. In applying this approach, the Strategy Group recognized that, although considerable progress has been made toward fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus and limiting its harm to economic structures, future conditions for renters at risk of eviction may vary substantially depending on the evolution of the virus, including the possible emergence of additional, more dangerous variants; the public response to the pandemic, including vaccination uptake; the changing conditions for employment; the ability of the government to deliver support effectively; and other factors. Given this uncertainty, rather than focusing more narrowly on the single scenario deemed most likely to happen, the group developed a set of four scenarios based on different combinations of plausible paths for the pandemic and other external disruptors to aid in identifying potential interventions for actors at the national/federal, state, and local levels. The group used these scenarios as prompts for thinking through a range of conditions systematically. While the scenarios should not be interpreted as the Strategy Group’s view of the most likely outcomes, their use resulted in a set of recommended actions the group believes, based on its analysis of the available evidence and the expert judgment of its members, would collectively mitigate and minimize rental evictions both during the pandemic and over the long term across a range of conditions and outcomes. For each action identified to help achieve the above goals, the rationale is given, and the targeted potential actor(s) are listed. Each action is also assigned a suggested timeframe for its implementation. Appendix C provides a summary of the proposed actions ordered by the suggested implementation timeframes: near term, or weeks to a few months; short term, or 3–12 months; or medium term, or 12–36 1 See https://www.nationalacademies.org/strategic-science. 2 The term “housing instability” is meant to encompass both those undergoing and those at serious risk of eviction. 3 In this report, the term “eviction” is used broadly to include not only the court proceedings held to remove people from housing for failure to pay rent, but also cases in which renters feel forced to leave or are told to leave by the owner or primary renter based on their inability to pay rent. Prepublication Copy 1

months. In the body of the report, the timeframes associated with each action are color coded (green for near term, yellow for short term, or blue for medium term). Note that the Strategy Group could not formulate a timeline for when the impacts of its proposed actions would be felt, given the range of possible conditions captured in the scenarios explored. The causes of housing instability are intertwined and interdependent. Therefore, the Strategy Group identified actions that would reduce housing instability for any vulnerable renters, with particular attention to historically underserved communities for whom long-standing vulnerabilities have the potential to exacerbate the challenges posed by the pandemic. Members of the Strategy Group believe further that the actions recommended in this report echo the goals and mission shared by housing authorities and communities at large with respect to reducing housing instability during the pandemic and beyond. Context for the Report The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an already severe housing crisis in the United States. Prior to the pandemic, almost half of all renter households were already rental cost-burdened4 (Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University [JCHS], 2020), rents were continuing to rise in some places where income remained flat (Myers and Park, 2019), and only one in four eligible renters were receiving federal financial housing assistance (Fischer and Sard, 2016). The recession associated with the pandemic and the concentration of recession-related job losses among low-wage workers have amplified this problem, causing millions of people to descend into poverty, exacerbating racial inequities and income gaps (Parolin et al., 2020), and increasing housing instability. Rental eviction—which, as noted, includes not only formal legal action but also cases in which renters feel forced to leave or are told to leave by the owner or primary renter based on their inability to pay rent—is not only a symptom but also a root cause of poverty. Evictions and the accumulation of rental arrears increase the likelihood that an individual or family will experience economic hardship (Brennan et al., 2020), the inability to secure future housing (Franzese, 2018), emotional trauma, negative health outcomes, downward moves into more disadvantaged neighborhoods and substandard housing, and homelessness (Benfer et al., 2021; Collinson and Reed, 2018; Desmond and Kimbro, 2015; Greer et al., 2016; Himmelstein and Desmond, 2021; Rojas and Stenberg, 2016; Shinn et al., 2013; Vásquez-Vera et al., 2017). Eviction and housing displacement also increase COVID-19–related and other causes of morbidity and mortality as people move into overcrowded living spaces (Leifheit et al., 2020; Nande et al., 2021; Tobolowsky et al., 2020). And like the pandemic itself, eviction and housing instability impact some population groups, especially women and Black and Latinx households, disproportionately (Eckart, 2020; Greenberg et al., 2016). Tenants are not the only people hit hard by the pandemic’s effect on renter finances. Months of unpaid rent reduce landlords’ income, with potential downstream effects on the overall stability of the housing stock. The operation and management of rental housing is a low-profit business (National Association of Residential Property Managers, 2019). Among the most vulnerable are individual “mom and pop” landlords, who provide the bulk of affordable housing units for low-income renters (De La Campa, 2021). In late 2020 and early 2021, the White House and Congress provided tens of billions of dollars for emergency rental assistance and extended a September 20205 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order prohibiting most evictions due to nonpayment of rent, at least through July 31, 2021.6 Many states also offer COVID-19–related tenant protections, including eviction moratoriums, holds on shutting off utilities because of nonpayment, and bans on late-rent fees. While circumstances at the federal and state levels continue to change, these two key efforts form the basis for the legal and regulatory environment that 4 “Rental cost–burdened” refers to households that pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. 5 See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/pdf/CDC-Eviction-Moratorium-03292021.pdf. 6 This report is concerned mainly with eviction in cases of nonpayment of rent. All current eviction moratoriums include exceptions for lease violations other than nonpayment, including criminal activity. Some also allow evictions for property-based reasons. 2 Prepublication Copy

serves as the context for this report and directs the report’s focus. Local and federal moratoriums have addressed some of the challenges discussed earlier by helping millions of families remain in their homes during the pandemic until the government can eventually distribute emergency rental assistance efficiently to address arrears and prevent an eviction crisis (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2021). Originally, moratoriums were intended as a public health mitigation strategy. Indeed, studies have shown that during the pandemic, they have had a measurable impact on the spread of SARS-CoV-2, especially in metropolitan areas (Nande et al., 2021), and reduced the death rate by 11 percent (Jowers et al., 2021). However, the enactment of additional local eviction moratoriums and variations in the enforcement of their national counterparts have led to widely different levels of protection and effectiveness; as a result, nonprofit organizations, housing research groups, and industry have offered recommendations for strengthening these initiatives (e.g., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2021). However, the success of these moratoriums is based on the direct effects of eviction on health during a public health emergency. Over the long term, moratoriums are not a lasting solution to housing instability because they do not protect landlords or prevent renters from owing back rent, nor do they address the underlying causes of the housing instability problem. Accordingly, this future-focused report focuses on solutions beyond moratoriums. Also of note, since it was originally issued in September 2020, the current CDC moratorium has been renewed or extended multiple times7 and has been challenged in multiple courts. Landlords and affiliated groups in at least seven states and the District of Columbia sued to block it,8 arguing that it represents an unconstitutional overreach of the agency’s authority. In three such cases, judges ruled against landlords, essentially upholding the moratorium, although one of those judgments has since been effectively reversed. In May 2021, a federal judge also ruled against the CDC moratorium, a ruling promptly appealed by the Justice Department. This case was unfolding at the time this report was written. The likelihood of more court rulings is great, but landlords and tenants must still abide by state or local bans, emphasizing the need for each state to determine its approach to the problem based on local health and economic measures instead of relying on a national determination. It should be noted as well that, even though the scenario planning approach used by the Strategy Group was designed to identify actions that would remain robust and effective across a spectrum of possible future states, the group recognized that COVID-19 and the associated housing crisis are rapidly developing, and circumstances are likely to change in the near future. A key area of uncertainty of relevance to this report is the specific authorities that are assigned responsibility for certain aspects of the crisis response. Accordingly, the actors associated with each action proposed in this report may need to adapt the actions over time as the salient circumstances evolve. Finally, the amount of total past-due rent in the United States is difficult to estimate, but may have been as great as $52 billion nationwide9 as of January 2021. Arrears are still accruing, with one in seven renters (and one in five renters of color) reporting that they are behind on rent, exposing them to housing instability once moratoriums expire and causing challenges for property owners in meeting their own financial obligations and maintaining their buildings (Center on Budget Policy and Priorities [CBPP], 2021). Given these circumstances, the Strategy Group believes that preventing the wave of evictions likely to occur when moratoriums are lifted is a key part of the economic and health-related recovery from the pandemic and the associated recession. Government assistance, while substantial, is not deployed quickly or efficiently enough to help more than a fraction of the renters who have fallen behind on their rent. Facing 7 See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/pdf/CDC-Eviction-Moratorium-03292021.pdf. 8 See, e.g., Brown v. Azar, No. 1:20-cv03702 (N.D.Ga.); KBW Investment Properties LLC v. Azar, No. 2:20- cv04852 (S.D.Ohio); Tiger Lilly LLC v. HUD, No. 2:20-cv02692 (W.D.Tenn.); Skyworks, Ltd. v. CDC, No. 5:20- cv02407 (N.D.Ohio); Chambliss Enterprises LLC v. Redfield, No. 20-1455 (W.D.La.); Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, No. 6:20-cv00564 (E.D.Tex); Alabama Assn. of Realtors v. Dept. of Health & Human Services, No. 20-cv3377 (D.D.C.); Dixon Ventures, Inc. v. USA, No. 4:20-cv1518-KGB (E.D.Ark.); and Mossman v. CDC, No. 1:21-cv00028 (N.D.Iowa). 9 Alternative estimates have indicated a wide range of values for past-due rents. See https://www.urban.org/urban- wire/many-people-are-behind-rent-how-much-do-they-owe. Prepublication Copy 3

this impending crisis, many organizations and government agencies have taken some immediate actions to prevent large-scale lasting harm to people, communities, and the nation. Building on these efforts, this report recommends robust actions that can ensure the rapid, efficient, equitable deployment of government resources to reduce housing instability and evictions and mitigate their effects, sustain housing security in the immediate to near future, and assist with a rapid and sustained economic recovery. Adaptive and Collaborative Strategic Actions This report identifies actions that could be taken at all levels—national, state, and local—and across different sectors—public, private, and nonprofit—to respond to the sharp increase in the share of renters who are or will be at risk of eviction in the immediate future. Housing policy takes a wide range of forms in the United States, with different programs funded and managed at different levels of government. The federal government uses tax credits, expenditures, and regulations to help homeowners and renters. It also serves as a funder, augmenting the resources available to states and localities for deploying policies aimed at meeting certain housing goals. State governments can allocate program funds and tax credits to areas and populations that need them most, and typically also play an important role in regulating housing. Local governments, in addition to often deploying federal and state-provided funds, have their own set of policies and regulations that can directly address localized housing challenges. Collaboration, coordination and cross-sector alignment among organizations at all levels are essential to meeting the needs of renters, service providers, and landlords, as well as reaching the goals of policy makers in the face of the impending eviction crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, Federal agencies and national-level organizations set priorities through regulation of organizations that receive taxpayer funds to dispense social, health, financial, and legal assistance, and can thereby influence policy to help people avoid eviction and retain their housing. Partnerships with these entities can establish shared leadership, vision, and adaptive strategic planning based on the recommended actions to meet immediate and future needs associated with the dynamic housing challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. Local and state partners—including public, private, and nonprofit organizations—are uniquely positioned to implement targeted strategies for collecting data and information that are representative of a community’s composition and unique needs without compromising personal information. Private-sector entities, nonprofits, and philanthropies are well positioned to serve social needs that markets and governments cannot or do not serve adequately. With their greater flexibility, they may be uniquely valuable partners in or initiators of some of the actions proposed in this report. Call for Action This report proposes a broad range of strategies and actions to be taken in the next three years. The potential actions identified in this report mainly address renter protections, but are attentive as well to the needs of service-providing agencies, landlords, property owners, property managers, and other stakeholders. These potential actions were crafted to advance four goals critical to addressing the rental housing crisis and permanently improving rental housing choices and security for all in the United States: Goal 1. Mitigate: Bridge Financial, Social, and Legal Assistance Goal 2. Inform: Improve the Collection of Data and the Use of Information to Support Affected Communities and Inform Policy Makers Goal 3. Assist: Make Affordable Housing Fair and Accessible Goal 4. Secure: Preserve, Provide, and Expand Safe Affordable Housing 4 Prepublication Copy

Within these four goals, the recommended actions fall under six prioritized categories (see Appendix D): (1) provide immediate emergency assistance to tenants during the pandemic; (2) help secure employment and stabilize incomes; (3) support and assist landlords during and after the pandemic; (4) capture and build in existing pandemic-response efforts for the longer term; (5) set research priorities and new partnerships to inform long-term improvements; and (6) promote legislative and regulatory changes to build more resilient systems for future crises. If implemented, these recommended actions would promote partnership and could mitigate the growing incidence of severe housing insecurity during the pandemic and over the longer term, reduce discrimination and ensure fair access to safe and affordable housing, and overall ensure a resilient recovery from this crisis, as well as prepare for future shocks. GOAL 1: MITIGATE: BRIDGE FINANCIAL, SOCIAL, AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE For Goal 1, the Strategy Group identified actions that could be implemented with the housing information currently available while awaiting the collection of additional data (see Goal 2). Bridging the financial, social, and legal assistance needs of affected communities, both tenants and landlords, can play a significant role in mitigating rental housing instability and reducing the health, human dignity, social, and economic costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. To be most effective, rental assistance needs to reach the tenants most at risk of eviction and homelessness efficiently without placing undue administrative burdens on those renters or their landlords (Leonard et al., 2021; Collinson et al., 2019). As of March 2021, the U.S. Congress had approved a total of $46.55 billion for emergency rental assistance to prevent a wave of evictions due to the large amount of accumulated rental arrears as pandemic-related moratoriums expire.10 However, because of the complexity associated with distributing financial assistance to individuals—ranging from administrative and workforce to technical challenges encountered at each level of government—only a small portion of this rental aid had reached tenants and landlords by May (DeParle, 2021). Once identified, households at highest risk of housing instability and eviction will need outreach, services, and assistance tailored to their particular circumstances in language they can understand and in a format they can use. Historically, housing assistance has served relatively few eligible individuals (Sherman and Trisi, 2015), but with expansion, it could be the most efficient way to reach the majority of households at risk of eviction due to the pandemic. Other social benefits with wider uptake and reach, such as SNAP, unemployment insurance, and Medicaid, could be harnessed to deliver such assistance. These social safety net programs contribute indirectly to housing security by allowing households to allocate more of their limited budgets to housing costs (Allen et al., 2019; Brennan et al., 2020; Keith-Jennings et al., 2019) (see Goal 3). These large means-tested social assistance programs also commonly are linked to the delivery of other supports, including more niche benefits (Ambegaokar et al., 2017). Their infrastructure could thus serve as one-stop shops for a broad array of downstream improvements, including the distribution of emergency rental aid. For these reasons and across all scenarios explored, the Strategy Group determined that actions aimed at working in partnership with community-based organizations to bridge existing social and financial programs so as to reach tenants most at risk of eviction and at expanding and improving social safety net programs are robust means of successfully reducing housing instability due to the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, as well as mitigating the impacts of evictions that do occur. Strategy 1A: Harness Existing Social Programs for Broad, Proactive, and Targeted Outreach to Connect Renters with Financial and Legal Assistance Rationale: Many tenants who face a loss of housing may not know what resources are available to them or how to make use of those resources. Administrative burdens, such as proving the need for assistance, may also prevent those tenants most in need from receiving this assistance. This is particularly true of people in 10 See https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/emergency-rental-assistance-program. Prepublication Copy 5

marginalized and disenfranchised communities and those facing housing instability for the first time as a result of the pandemic’s health and economic impacts. Yet many individuals are already being served by the social insurance system,11 as well as by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which has been instrumental in providing certain types of pandemic relief. While only a fraction of eligible individuals and households actually receive most social benefits, these programs still reach a massive population of individuals in the United States (e.g., CBPP, 2018) struggling with their finances (Edelstein et al., 2014), and thereby at highest risk of severe financial insecurity during the pandemic (Nassif-Pires et al., 2020). Therefore, harnessing existing social benefit programs is the simplest means of rapid response to mitigate the poverty (and, by extension, housing) crisis resulting from the pandemic until more dedicated frameworks can be developed (see Strategy 1C). Those efforts to expand outreach, link existing programs, and streamline application processes can be aimed at improving the percentage of eligible individuals and households that receive assistance. Regular communication channels used by agencies administering these social programs to communicate regularly with beneficiaries (SMS, email, regular mail, in-person office visits) could also be used for outreach and disbursement of aid through these programs, effectively targeting those individuals found to be most at risk of housing instability.12 However, some key agencies reportedly have been unable to reach many individuals in need during the pandemic owing to some combination of insufficient workforce, outdated technology, and inefficient use of the administrative infrastructure (Long, 2021). With additional resources released in response to the pandemic, more effective use of data (as proposed under Goal 2), and a strengthened legal and organizational framework, these agencies could quickly begin reaching millions of individuals at risk of losing their housing with information on eviction moratoriums, how to connect to local legal aid providers, and how to apply for federal emergency rental assistance funds.13 In May 2021, for example, the National Low Income Housing Coalition launched an Emergency Rental Assistance Resource Hub, Dashboard, and Program Table to “monitor trends [and] facilitate resource sharing,” a critical step to “help renters access emergency rental assistance.”14 Recognizing the importance of hearing and learning from a diverse coalition of stakeholders—such as property owners and managers, tenants, lawyers, researchers, community advocates, and government leaders—local and state institutions have established cross-sectoral task forces to develop rental eviction mitigation strategies prior to15 or as an emergency response to the pandemic.16 While many such programs are administered at the state level, several are operating within a federal system led by federal agencies. Hence, a national task force would play a crucial role in establishing best practices for outreach strategies, targeting and coordinating referrals, fostering cooperation among programs serving similar individuals, and developing resource dashboards. Actors: The Executive Office of the President, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state agencies, local public housing authorities that administer federal programs for low-income assistance, and relevant nongovernmental organizations 11 Whether because they receive unemployment insurance benefits, SNAP, or Medicaid; receive assistance under homelessness prevention programs, such as the Emergency Solutions Grant Program; or are retired or have disabilities and hence receive Old Age Survivor Disability Insurance (OASDI) or Medicare. 12 It has been shown that administrative program data can be used to predict housing instability and homelessness (see, e.g., von Wachter et al., 2019). 13 According to a May 2020 report, for example, an annual $5.7 million investment for right to counsel for tenants in Baltimore would provide $35.6 million in benefits for Baltimore City and Maryland (Stout Risius Ross, LLC, 2020). 14 See https://nlihc.org/era-dashboard. 15 See Eviction Prevention Task Force (2019) and Mayor’s Taskforce on Eviction Prevention and Response (2018). 16 See City of Alexandria (2020), Colorado Department of Local Affairs (2020), Northern Virginia Eviction Prevention and Community Stability Task Force (2020). 6 Prepublication Copy

Action 1A-1: To coordinate the connection of individuals and families at risk of eviction with information and resources to a level commensurate with the gravity of the housing instability problem, the Executive Office of the President should consider establishing a national task force to prevent eviction and mitigate its effects during the pandemic and beyond. This task force could extend the existing Interagency Council on Homelessness with representation from key state and federal agencies that administer and coordinate major social programs currently serving millions of individuals affected by the COVID-19 crisis.17 In addition, this task force could include tenant advocates, attorneys, and property owners. The task force could take the following specific actions:  Working with states as necessary, coordinate and deploy proactive outreach to renters at risk of eviction because of the COVID-19 pandemic by harnessing, modernizing, and scaling up existing administrative social program infrastructure to directly reach individuals with tailored information about eviction moratoriums, legal service providers at the local level, and social support programs.  Develop data-driven strategies based on existing information on service recipients to target outreach efforts to those renters most at risk of being affected by housing instability, eviction, and homelessness (see Goal 2).  Devise strategies for reaching out to individuals who have never received federal support, especially historically marginalized groups, using, among other channels, local networks, community-based organizations (see also Strategy 1B), and a national outreach campaign.  Devise guidance and best practices on how agencies can cooperate to develop one-stop application portals for sharing information and streamlining the application process for multiple programs.  In collaboration with nongovernmental organizations, develop recommendations for reaching traditionally marginalized communities with limited access to information technology and broadband internet.  Devise a strategy for immediately mobilizing a large number of temporary state and local administrative employees and streamlining state procedures to enable the above actions and quickly disburse federal emergency rental assistance to the large number of applicants expected. Action 1A-2: To protect tenants from eviction and provide relief for landlords, state and federal agencies that administer social programs could use their administrative infrastructures—along with any improvements resulting from Action 1A-1—to quickly and effectively allocate the emergency rental assistance funds provided by recent federal relief packages directly to tenant rental arrears accumulated because of hardship during the pandemic. To reduce the administrative burden placed on tenants, landlords could be permitted to apply for rental assistance. Action 1A-3: Local public housing authorities, state housing agencies, and local governments should reach out to landlords, including through local property management associations, to ensure that they are fully informed of all assistance programs available to tenants in every market, including financial and legal 17 E.g., HUD, HHS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], Administration for Children and Families [ACF], Indian Health Service [IHS], Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA], Administration for Community Living [ACL]), USDA (SNAP, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children [WIC], National School Lunch Program [NSLP], USDOL (unemployment insurance), Social Security Administration (OASDI/Supplemental Security Income [SSI]), U.S. Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Education, and others. Prepublication Copy 7

support, online support, and language translation, and, if they can, assist them in gaining access to these services. Action 1A-4: HUD should develop and provide technical support for an interactive web-based screening tool that would enable individuals seeking economic support and community-based organizations assisting them to better connect to the range of social benefits available to them, such as unemployment insurance, SNAP, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Medicaid. Action 1A-5: HUD should engage with the U.S. Department of Justice to distribute funds provided by recent federal relief packages to existing legal aid programs in order to increase the number of attorneys that can represent tenants and coordinate the right to access legal counsel for those facing eviction because of the hardship resulting from the pandemic. To create comprehensive and lasting relief for tenants at risk of eviction because of the pandemic, this service could be part of a strategic multitiered approach (dispute resolution, right to counsel, social support, financial assistance; see Strategy 1C) with a state-by-state evaluation program. Strategy 1B: Provide Assistance to Renters in Traditionally Marginalized Communities by Scaling Activities in Community-Based Organizations Rationale: The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically worsened an already severe housing problem for chronically low-income households dealing with the persistent array of social challenges facing marginalized communities. People of color, particularly Black and Latinx populations, are also more likely to face housing insecurity and are at greater risk of eviction relative to their White counterparts (Benfer et al., 2020; City Life/Vida Urbana, 2020; Hepburn et al., 2020), and each eviction imposes additional burdens on family and social support networks that are often in a similar situation and in the same community. An analysis of 220 COVID-19 rent relief programs shows that flexibility in the design and implementation of these programs is essential to deploying these resources (Reina et al., 2021). Additional analysis of these programs finds it is important to include an equity framework and goals in program design and implementation so traditionally marginalized groups, who, as noted above, are often the most affected by the pandemic, can be served (Gould Ellen et al., 2021). This analysis also reveals the need for flexibility in the form the assistance can take, with some municipalities experiencing high levels of owner nonparticipation in rent relief programs even when no restrictions have been attached to receiving the funds, thus necessitating direct tenant rent relief options (Aiken et al., 2021). Because at-risk tenants typically have substantially less access to smartphones, broadband internet, or computers at home (see, e.g., Anderson and Kumar, 2019), they often face challenges in receiving and maintaining the support for which they are eligible. Given appropriate resources, community-based organizations that have engendered trust with communities over time and grassroots mutual aid networks (Arnold, 2020) can devise effective strategies for reaching these individuals and clearly communicating information on available resources and on renters’ rights, including avenues for self-advocacy and ways to form or join organized tenants’ unions (Dreier, 1996). Actors: State and local governments in partnership with landlords and community-based organizations Action 1B-1: State and local governments should provide funding and support to community-based organizations, such as legal aid agencies and tenant advocates, for establishing a process, in consultation with landlords, that triggers assistance in the form of the provision of information and legal aid to tenants regarding procedures, rights, and resources for which they may be eligible should they receive a notice of eviction or unlawful detainer notice. These funds could support community-based organizations in training 8 Prepublication Copy

existing and new staff to assist individuals at risk of eviction because of the pandemic, with the goal of expanding and sustaining their operations through the economic recovery. Action 1B-2: State and local governments should enlist community-based organizations, particularly those with expertise in culturally specific communications, to connect with members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant, and refugee communities that may not be covered by public assistance programs; people with disabilities; and members of other historically marginalized communities. Strategy 1C: Expand and Improve Social Safety Net Programs during the Pandemic and Beyond Rationale for Actions 1C-1, 1C-2, 1C-3, and 1C-4: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to large-scale and long-lasting unemployment among workers in low-wage service sectors. Cash assistance, including unemployment insurance, reduces the housing insecurity that accompanies unemployment shocks (Bhutta et al., 2020; Hsu et al., 2018). SNAP has also been shown to reduce the risk of families with children falling behind on their housing and utility bills (Shaefer and Gutierrez, 2013).18 Even with these safety net programs, however, job loss during recessions has traditionally led to greater housing insecurity (Burke et al., 2013; Tian et al., 2016; U.S. Department of Labor, 2021). Many lower-income workers spend the majority of their income on food and other necessities, so they have difficulty paying rent and surviving on regular unemployment insurance benefits, which pay no more than 50 percent of prior earnings.19 To these workers, in addition to emergency housing assistance described elsewhere in this report, the supplement to weekly benefits provided by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation20 programs, the expansion of who is able to claim benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program,21 and the 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits, all extended through September 2021, and the ability to claim SNAP while receiving unemployment insurance benefits have been crucial to avoiding housing and food insecurity and will likely continue to be important until employment is more fully restored.22 The pandemic has also highlighted important limitations of the major U.S. safety net programs, with the unemployment benefits system struggling to provide the necessary aid in a timely fashion. These difficulties reflect in part the deterioration of that system’s infrastructure and finances in recent decades (Badger and Parlapiano, 2020), and in part the speed and magnitude of the crisis. While the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act did increase unemployment benefits and expand the number of eligible workers, many states were unable to accommodate these changes in a timely manner, and many workers were left without benefits (Roll and Grinstein-Weiss, 2020; Zaretsky, 2020; Zipperer and Gould, 2020). Also, while many states have provided trigger-based extended benefits during the pandemic, these triggers often end some benefits prematurely, leaving the unemployed without support before the labor market has recovered.23 Hence, extending federally funded benefit programs could help prevent mass evictions. Likewise, while the SNAP program also expanded its benefits during the pandemic, this expansion came after years of cutbacks in benefits and eligibility and after discussion of a range of factors that can have an impact on defining allotment adequacy (Oliveira et al., 2018). Moreover, the ability 18 Other studies documenting the importance of unemployment insurance and SNAP in relieving hardship during recessions include Rothstein (2011), Schmieder et al. (2012), Chodorow-Reich and Coglianese (2019), and Schanzenbach (2019). 19 Even with the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation supplement, median unemployment insurance benefit levels during the COVID-19 period have been just above HUD’s threshold for very low income in California (Hedin et al., 2020). 20 See https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/pages/fpuc-faqs.aspx. 21 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program covers many self-employed and low-income individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance. 22 As of April 2021, the level of nonfarm payrolls was still 8 million below its prepandemic high. 23 This has led to the shutdown of state extended benefits in many states during the crisis, affecting a large number of workers and highlighting the role of federal benefit extensions (Bell et al., 2021). Prepublication Copy 9

of these programs to act as a safety net and an automatic stabilizer during recessions can be subject to the vicissitudes of the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch. In December 2020, for instance, pandemic and emergency unemployment insurance benefits were allowed to expire temporarily as the Congress delayed passing authorizing legislation. Actors: The U.S. Congress, USDOL, USDA, HUD, landlords, and public health authorities Action 1C-1: The U.S. Congress, in partnership with state public health authorities, should consider making the expiration of federally funded extensions of the unemployment insurance and SNAP programs contingent on sufficient improvement in state economic conditions, rather than time-based, during the pandemic and after it has been controlled. They should also consider extending policies stipulating that unemployment insurance income should not count toward SNAP eligibility during the same period. Action 1C-2: The U.S. Congress, USDOL, and state governments should consider a comprehensive reform of the unemployment insurance system aimed at increasing accessibility and benefits, including but not limited to modernizing the system infrastructure, instituting mandated benefit floors, improving the financial position of state unemployment insurance funds, and reducing administrative hurdles for receiving benefits. Action 1C-3: The U.S. Congress, USDOL, and state governments might consider ways to extend eligibility for unemployment insurance permanently for workers who are traditionally uncovered, including self-employed and part-time workers and those who otherwise do not meet the income threshold. Action 1C-4: USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service could modernize SNAP by updating the Thrifty Food Plan to better account for costs, eliminating barriers to participation, incorporating Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) as a permanent part of the program, and enhancing the program’s automatic stabilizer characteristics so families need not choose between paying rent and buying food during the pandemic and beyond. Rationale for Actions 1C-5 and 1C-6: While some unemployed workers will return to the jobs they held prior to the pandemic, others will need to find new lines of work if their previous industries have shrunk or changed their operations during the pandemic to be less dependent on workers. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Wagner-Peyser Act (WPA) are the main funding sources for federal training and intensive job search assistance for dislocated and low-income workers in the United States. However, there currently is no strong channel connecting the long-term unemployed receiving unemployment insurance or SNAP to these programs. The U.S. Congress needs to prepare this vital infrastructure for the potential influx of large numbers of low-educated, long-term unemployed people who may have experience in previous lines of work in retail sales, accommodation, and food service—sectors that show some permanent decline because of the long-term effects of the pandemic on business and leisure travel, telecommuting, and social activities (see Barrero et al., 2020; Bartik et al., 2020). Action 1C-5: The U.S. Congress should consider reauthorizing the WIOA and increasing funding for intensive job search programs authorized through the WPA to prepare for an influx of individuals seeking work after having lost their jobs during the pandemic. Action 1C-6: The U.S. Congress should consider policy options for better connecting to intensive WIOA and WPA services those individuals being served by unemployment insurance and SNAP who are at risk of long-term unemployment as a result of the pandemic. Rationale for Actions 1C-7 and 1C-8: Outside of catastrophic events such as a pandemic, economic and business fluctuations and resulting unemployment are a constant feature of the U.S. economy. Such events 10 Prepublication Copy

place a disproportionate burden on those with limited resources to overcome income reductions during a period of unemployment. These are also the groups typically underserved by unemployment insurance because of either excessive income eligibility requirements, administrative burdens, or lack of access to information technology.24 Looking ahead and preparing for future crises, linking unemployment benefits and services to different assistance programs could create a stronger social safety net that could allow particularly vulnerable individuals to continue paying rent despite such negative economic events as job loss. Action 1C-7: To reach low-income renters more effectively, USDOL and responsible state agencies could use the infrastructure discussed under Action 1A-1 to take steps toward integrating unemployment insurance programs with other social insurance programs serving similar populations, such as SNAP and housing assistance programs, using the dashboard described in Action 2A-5 below. Action 1C-8: In light of the difficulties encountered by the government while distributing emergency assistance to vulnerable individuals during the pandemic, USDOL, USDA, HUD, IRS, and state governments should improve infrastructure for linking services and delivering payments to households, in particular those that do not currently file taxes, so that during future disruptive events, individuals and households will receive payments in a timely fashion, protecting them and the nation’s economy. GOAL 2: INFORM: IMPROVE THE COLLECTION OF DATA AND THE USE OF INFORMATION TO SUPPORT AFFECTED COMMUNITIES AND INFORM POLICY MAKERS For Goal 2, the Strategy Group identified actions that would help key organizations start immediately to collect, report, and analyze relevant data on housing instability, thereby allowing data- driven decisions on targeted interventions to be made during and after the pandemic as soon as possible. Having this information would enable actors to implement the other interventions recommended in this report to make more sustained improvements and better reach those most in need. Particularly important to this goal is that organizations working to reduce housing instability be aware of and understand the full complexity of the disparate and disproportionate harm suffered by BIPOC communities as a result of evictions and housing insecurity. Specifically, to improve and inform policy decisions around aid, outreach, and tenant protections, federal, state, and local stakeholders need accurate, timely, easily accessible, and detailed data on eviction filings, eviction actions, characteristics of renter households in distress, and health outcomes due to eviction and the aftereffects of the pandemic. Policy makers, social service providers, tenant and landlord associations, and by extension tenants and landlords themselves need data on housing instability that extend beyond the basic metrics of eviction filings so they can understand the outcomes, drivers, and people involved in those filings. An effective data collection strategy for this more comprehensive picture would include data collection from both government records and the community itself. For community-focused data collection, community-based organizations would be valuable partners. Many such organizations possess the know-how, familiarity, and trust that are essential in gathering and ultimately disseminating to disinvested communities both quantitative and qualitative information, and any external initiative will be less effective without community-based partners. Across the four scenarios explored, the Strategy Group found that filling data gaps and providing data on housing instability are robust needs; that is, these actions would be needed under a range of outcomes to support affected communities, both tenants and landlords, and to inform policy makers. Note that given the interconnected needs addressed under Goal 2, several of the recommended actions overlap. This overlap will better allow interventions reliant on critical eviction data to proceed even if some of the 24 For evidence on the unequal coverage of the unemployment insurance program during the COVID-19 crisis, see Bell et al. (2021) and Forsythe (2021). Prepublication Copy 11

actions are not taken promptly. It also reflects the fact that, given the wide jurisdictional variability of laws, rules, and procedures in housing courts around the country, a broad compendium of strategies is preferred over a one-size-fits-all approach. Strategy 2A: Improve Data Collection, Reporting, and Access to Build Actionable Understanding of Eviction The lack of a comprehensive and granular eviction database makes it difficult to assess the scale of housing instability in the United States and, in particular, how different populations and geographies have been affected. Having such data would help jurisdictions determine to whom resources should be directed in immediate response to the pandemic-driven housing crisis; it would also inform the development of policy to mitigate evictions in future outbreaks. Additionally, a national eviction database could reduce rental housing instability generally by facilitating the enforcement of fair housing laws in community- centric ways that are not possible today. While some aggregate data regarding the demographics of housing instability are publicly available,25 there currently exists no platform or data infrastructure to support a nationwide eviction notice, filing, and execution dashboard that can provide sufficiently comprehensive, timely, and granular data to identify populations at risk of eviction. Existing public data consolidation and aggregation efforts track eviction filings in a limited number of cities26 or focus on issues in specific localities.27 Indeed, approximately one-third of U.S. counties have no available annual eviction figures.28 This gap in information on evictions, their root causes, and the needs for assistance have led to underinformed decision making and administrative challenges for rental assistance organizations, and may result in program design flaws. Rationale for Actions 2A-1 and 2A-2: These two actions focus on collecting state and local jurisdiction eviction data to inform rapid response that can prevent a wave of pandemic-related evictions while simultaneously supporting the development of a standardized and modernized data collection system for future use in monitoring ongoing eviction trends. The most easily accessible data on evictions comes mainly from three points in the eviction process: notices (where required), filings/unlawful detainers, and sheriff writs of restitution. Loss of housing can occur at any of these points. To understand the state of evictions in the United States during the pandemic and beyond, it is important to obtain data from all three points, each of which provides critical details on where interventions can best be implemented and on the nature of evictions for households in a given area. State and local courts, housing authorities, and law enforcement agencies are important sources for such raw data on the legal process of eviction. However, the majority of eviction data is hidden within unsearchable digital images and physical copies of court records (Leung et al., 2020). Different jurisdictions have very different procedures and resources, and so have different capacities to record and report on these data. Some do not possess the technology required for electronic record keeping. Scaling up the collection of national eviction data will therefore require modernization of record keeping in localities nationwide. Data science tools can be used to mine records29 and could fill important gaps in knowledge about who is being evicted and where evictions most commonly occur. Modernizing and establishing minimum standards for electronic records would provide a local benefit by improving court and other information systems. This benefit and possibly federal funding could 25 See HUD’s Picture of Subsidized Households (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/assthsg.html). Additionally, see Princeton University’s Eviction Lab work (https://www.evictionlab.org) focused on trying to remedy the information gaps in American housing insecurity. 26 See https://evictionlab.org. 27 See https://antievictionmap.com; https://evictions.study. 28 See https://www.newamerica.org/future-land-housing/reports/displaced-america/housing-loss-and-poor-data. 29 Examples include natural language processing and Bayesian demographic estimation. 12 Prepublication Copy

serve as an incentive for jurisdictions to use these new tools and potential funds in part to report past and current eviction case data to HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau for curation and analysis. Such a project would have the additional advantage of making it easier for certain jurisdictions to identify themselves for additional federal housing support. Actors: The U.S. Congress, HUD, the U.S. Census Bureau, public housing authorities, local and state governments, experts in housing instability Action 2A-1: The U.S. Congress, in partnership with HUD, the U.S. Census Bureau, and experts in housing instability, should consider establishing a temporary (2- to 3-year) Eviction Data-Collection Assistance Program that would (1) create a task force to assess the current state of data and existing databases and inform data collection strategies, and (2) fund underresourced state and local jurisdictions to collect data, modernize their electronic filing and records systems, and overcome administrative barriers to fulfilling reporting requirements discussed under Action 2A-2. Action 2A-2: HUD, public housing authorities, and local and state governments should establish a federal reporting standard for eviction data, as well as a program akin to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program through which local police departments voluntarily submit their crime data to a state UCR program or directly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. HUD could offer an online system for free to promote a basic level of uniformity, information security, and federal access. In addition, state and local jurisdictions should require:  Landlords and their legal representatives to notify local authorities whenever eviction notices or unlawful detainer notices are sent,30 and those authorities should record the actions and their outcomes (e.g., abandonment).  Sheriff’s departments (or other responsible law enforcement agencies) to record and report when they are asked to carry out or execute a writ of restitution.  State and local courts to file electronic copies of all documents associated with eviction cases, and authorities should report these cases through the reporting program recommended here.  Public housing authorities, as organizations that serve largely populations most vulnerable to eviction, to file independent reports on any eviction actions within the public housing system, including the circumstances and outcomes of any notices, filings, and writs and the stage in the process if and when the tenant was removed from the unit. Rationale for Actions 2A-3 and 2A-4: The preceding two actions, if taken, would resolve the most pressing issues of (1) compiling the most critical and readily available pandemic-related eviction data, and (2) durably improving reporting systems in state and local jurisdictions. Once these first steps have been accomplished, Actions 2A-3 and 2A-4 cast a broader data collection net and include a retrospective analysis of the causes and consequences of evictions. This deeper dive into eviction data includes much more granular and comparative quantitative data beyond the basic needs described in Actions 2A-1 and 2A-2, as well as qualitative data that can help yield new understanding of eviction and housing instability more broadly. While data from state and local courts, housing authorities, and law enforcement agencies are useful for understanding issues broadly, they often miss the nuanced experiences of specific communities. Court filings alone may overestimate forcible removals and underestimate unofficial losses of housing as fractions of eviction actions. For example, many renters vacate housing after being notified by a landlord of pending eviction but before the actual court filing itself (so-called “voluntary eviction,” or abandonment).31 Cases 30 Some states require that notice be sent to tenants prior to the filing of an eviction action; some do not. Requiring prefiling notice is another valuable protection for renters given the short timelines for evictions. 31 Cases of “voluntary” or “informal” eviction are legally considered to be abandonment. Prepublication Copy 13

of people who are asked informally to vacate housing for which they have no lease also are not captured in court records. Some existing quantitative data collection instruments and initiatives (see examples under Action 2A-3 below) do extend into more nuanced territory but provide only annual estimates of the numbers, demographics, and circumstances of evicted households and of those at risk of eviction. More frequent ongoing data collection that includes more granular estimates of the scope and magnitude of the problem at the local level could help generate solutions.32 It is particularly important to ensure that the focus extends beyond coastal urban areas to include other urban areas, small cities, suburban communities, and rural communities, where eviction rates can be substantially higher than the national average.33 Furthermore, while quantitative data are important, they are insufficient on their own. Additional insights come from experience dealing directly with tenants, landlords, and the issues that arise, including the actual experience of processes, practices, rules, laws, and outcomes. Examining these qualitative, community-based data can provide opportunities to identify more people at risk of informal eviction or displacement and ways to improve services and procedures. Similarly, documenting the degree of unmet need within federal housing programs would allow policy makers to see the true scope of housing instability in the United States. Community-based organizations are, in many cases, better equipped and positioned to provide and collect such information within their communities relative to government agencies. To devise effective solutions for the eviction and housing instability crisis, policy makers and community-based organizations need to understand all factors leading to these phenomena and their consequences—including those that can be tracked easily by numbers and those that are too complex to be captured by simple quantitative metrics. They also need ongoing updates of those indicators to consistently track the scope of the problem, the landscape of housing regulations, and the local institutional contexts in which the crisis is unfolding. Only then will policy impacts and the consequences of inaction become fully apparent. Actors: HUD, the U.S. Census Bureau, philanthropies, landlords and property managers, nonprofits, community-based organizations, public housing authorities, academics, and other researchers Action 2A-3: HUD, in collaboration with academics and other researchers, the Census Bureau, philanthropies, landlords and property managers, and community-based organizations, should launch and coordinate a comprehensive quantitative research program that provides an ongoing accurate picture of housing insecurity in the United States based on existing data and data to be collected in the future. Types and sources of data used for this research should include  data from existing collection instruments, such as the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey,34 the Rental Housing Finance Survey,35 and the American Housing Survey,36 and local homelessness management information systems;37  information on eviction cases as stated in the November 2020 update to HUD’s Research Roadmap;38 32 While a census tract level of granularity would be ideal, this may not be feasible in a reasonable timeframe in many locations or when critical data privacy is taken into consideration. 33 See the Eviction Lab’s rankings here: https://evictionlab.org/rankings/#/evictions?r=United%20States&a=2&d =evictionRate. 34 See https://www.census.gov/data-tools/demo/hhp/#. 35 See https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/rhfs.html. 36 See https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html. 37 See https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/hmis. 38 See https://www.huduser.gov/portal/sites/default/files/pdf/Research-Roadmap-2020.pdf (p. 52, accessed May 19, 2021). While HUD has already called for a feasibility study and clearly recognizes the complexity of this monumental task, it must be acted upon rapidly and treated as an immediate priority since many subsequent actions will depend on its quick and effective implementation. 14 Prepublication Copy

 a compendium of relevant state and local laws and regulations germane to affordable housing, housing habitability, eviction, and tenant discrimination;  eviction data collected by private firms for the purpose of tenant screening (such information may have to be licensed or purchased outright);  near-real-time information about rental applicants, including source of income, demographic information consistent with the protected classes under the Fair Housing Act,39 and the application rates and waiting lists for federal housing assistance programs; and  near-real-time information about the locations and quantities of outstanding tenant rental arrears nationwide so emergency funds and other assistance can be targeted effectively and distributed rapidly—information that will be particularly important for preventing major disruptions for both tenants and landlords during recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and future crises. Action 2A-4: HUD, in collaboration with community-based organizations, public housing authorities, and academic and other research institutes, should launch and coordinate a comprehensive qualitative research program to identify, record, and analyze both short-term predictors of housing instability and more robust, long-term metrics to inform future policy. These indicators will be essential to monitoring eviction risks and inequities and responding rapidly to unmet housing needs in targeted, equitable, and community- centric ways.40 Such qualitative indicators may include tenant and landlord characteristics related to history, identity, or behavior and circumstances surrounding the initiation of eviction proceedings. Rationale for Action 2A-5: Once all of the relevant data streams have been effectively compiled and standardized, they can be translated into an actionable format, such as an online dashboard. It is imperative that the insights gained from this data collection effort be available and understandable to whoever can benefit from them. Analyzing and operationalizing these data and insights will require an accessible public platform where policy makers, landlords, community-based organizations, and individual renters can engage with the data and generate new, context-specific understandings. Equally important is recognizing that while data are essential for providing support for renters (Kirchner and Goldstein, 2020), data can also be used to increase housing instability for renters in that information about an individual’s current or past housing insecurity can increase barriers to future housing. Strong privacy protections are therefore needed to ensure that data collected for policy and outreach purposes are not used for purposes harmful to renters’ future prospects. Action 2A-5 requires that public data be aggregated and anonymized while still enabling an analysis of race, gender, age, ethnicity, and disability status. Institutions and scholars interested in accessing the data at a more granular level to serve or study these vulnerable populations will need to adhere to strong protocols protecting personally identifiable information. Another important consideration in implementing the dashboard will be outreach. The capability for a targeted response to the housing crisis is useless if that capability is not advertised to the actors who will put it to use. Partnerships with social media entities and communication strategists will need to be considered to support the development of a coordinated public information campaign that raises awareness about both the housing crisis and the solutions available to those facing housing instability (see Goal 1). Actors: HUD and data scientists in the private, academic, and nongovernmental organization sectors Action 2A-5: HUD, in consultation with data scientists in the private, academic, and nongovernmental organization sectors, should build a publicly accessible National Housing Security Dashboard combining, collating, translating, and visualizing all the information sought under Actions 2A-1, 2A-2, 2A-3, and 2A- 39 Public Law 90-284, 42 U.S.C. § 3601. 40 For more information on a potential methodology for this action, explore the Urban Institute’s 2020 paper Assessing Options for Federal Rental Assistance during the Pandemic (Galvez et al., 2020). Prepublication Copy 15

4 into a usable online interface. Actionable and geographically granular information on the dashboard should grow as new types of information become available and should progressively include  national, state, county, and tract aggregated counts of eviction notices, filings, settlements, executions, and outcomes of tenants who vacated (either voluntarily or forcibly), by characteristics of affected tenants and their landlords;  interactive breakouts explaining specific protection protocols, such as whether particular tenants are receiving federal housing assistance and under which programs, the reasons for eviction, and statistics on illegal evictions (e.g., those conducted in violation of COVID-19– related moratoriums); and  a reporting of housing assistance needs containing national, state, county, and tract aggregated counts of households that have applied for or are receiving low-income housing assistance, sortable by characteristics of affected tenants and programs. Strategy 2B: Develop a Compendium of Promising Strategies for Housing and Public Health Authorities to Mitigate Evictions, Housing Instability, and Their Downstream Health Effects Rationale: Although the COVID-19 pandemic increasingly appears to be coming under control in the United States, public health experts anticipate occasional outbreaks and possible emergence of additional, more dangerous variants of SARS-CoV-2. Both poor health and the need to care for others, such as family members with medical concerns or children during school closures, can increase housing instability through loss of employment and inability to pay rent. In particular, as discussed earlier, research indicates that eviction leads many displaced families to “double up” with another household,41 which increases the risk of health problems (Bush and Shinn, 2018; Evans et al., 2002), including the spread of infectious disease. Multifamily dwellings present more opportunities for exposure and therefore higher risks in a pandemic relative to single-family dwellings (Harlem, 2020), and people at greater risk of housing instability are more likely to reside in multifamily settings in much of the country. However, guidelines are lacking on how to devise effective strategies at the local, state, and national levels that take into account pandemic-related health data and metrics to inform housing policies. This impediment has led to piecemeal and inadequate interventions. Given the wide variation in salient laws, rules, and procedures, few solutions would work in all jurisdictions; therefore, the nation needs a compendium of strategies that may be applicable in different circumstances. The variability in policy responses across different jurisdictions presents a unique opportunity for rapid-response research to identify and understand the tools that can be useful for reducing housing instability, but capitalizing on this irreplaceable opportunity will require that resources be recruited quickly. The National Science Foundation’s Rapid Response Research (RAPID) (National Science Foundation, 2020) funding mechanism, the National Institutes of Health’s Funding Opportunities Specific to COVID-19,42 and similar sources may be particularly well suited to supporting this critical strategic science. Actors: HUD; HHS (the CDC); state agencies, organizations, and businesses in the health sector; USDOL Action 2B-1: HUD and HHS (specifically the CDC), in partnership with state agencies administering health care services, public health, and Medicare/Medicaid, as well as organizations and businesses 41 Sixty-five percent of evicted families reported having doubled up, according to data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (https://fragilefamilies.princeton.edu/documentation), a large survey administered starting in 1998 (Nande et al., 2021). Forty percent of parents doubled up after being forced to move for such reasons as eviction, disrepair, or safety concerns or because they were unable to afford their unit, according to a large interview study of American families (Harvey, 2018). 42 See https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/COVID-Related.cfm. 16 Prepublication Copy

in the health care sector, should fund research to compile strategies and ordinances aimed at mitigating the risk of COVID-19 in housing-unstable populations across the nation, assess their effectiveness, and develop models or best practices that can be applied by local and state housing and public health authorities and organizations to mitigate the health effects of evictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including strategies for tracking risks and determining appropriate indicators for enacting and lifting such measures. Action 2B-2: HUD, HHS, and USDOL, in partnership with housing services, state agencies administering health care services, public health, Medicare/Medicaid, and unemployment insurance, as well as nonprofit organizations and the private health care sector, should publish guidelines on the conditions under which it is safe to remove such short-term COVID-19 protections as eviction moratoriums based on local health metrics and employment statistics. Specifically, in partnership with state public health authorities, these actors should link COVID-19 ordinances, cases, hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) visits, mortality, testing availability, vaccination coverage, and employment statistics in the national eviction dashboard proposed under Action 2A-5. These guidelines could also inform understanding of the accessibility and availability of safe in-person pre-K care and K-12 education. Strategy 2C: Commission Research to Understand Continuing Housing Instability Problems and Deploy Efforts to Address Them Rationale: Housing instability can result from a variety of factors, including poverty, weak finances, involvement with the criminal justice system, unemployment, limited access to health care, housing market dynamics, systemic racism, and others (Bhutta et al., 2020; Hsu et al., 2018; Purtle et al., 2020). However, the root cause in most of these cases is the sheer burden of rental costs faced by vulnerable households. According to the latest data from the American Housing Survey, the majority (61.0 percent) of renting households below the poverty line spend at least half their income on housing, with one in four of those households (50.6 percent) spending more than 70 percent of their income on shelter costs alone (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic provoked an economic crisis that resulted in millions of workers losing their jobs or dropping out of the labor force altogether, pushed households that were already in a precarious position over the edge, and increased poverty. These economic impacts may linger for years to come. The accumulation of rental arrears during this period means that housing instability may affect millions of people in the United States who were not previously at risk. The scope and complexity of housing instability have prompted many organizations to rethink their work and establish new types of services to provide in response to the needs of tenants and landlords and the available housing data. The need remains, however, for evidence-based interventions and strategies for reducing housing instability, as well as better methods for evaluating the effectiveness of such solutions. Actors: Academic or other research institutions funded by state and federal housing agencies and philanthropies, in partnership with tenants’ rights groups and rental property developers, investors, and operators Action 2C-1: Academic or other research institutions should perform a gap analysis of all programs that provide housing support to identify needs, overlaps, inefficiencies, and gaps in outreach during the pandemic or other catastrophic events. Action 2C-2: Academic or other research institutions should use the data available on the proposed eviction dashboard (see strategy 2A) to develop metrics for the evaluation of housing support programs for both tenants and property owners (this action is in support of Action 2A-4). Action 2C-3: Academic or other research institutions should create interdisciplinary research agendas for the evaluation of health, social, and economic interventions used to reduce housing instability in the Prepublication Copy 17

context of such major stressors as a pandemic, and for research on additional needs in this area that reflects the diversity and lived experiences of the most affected and at-risk communities. Action 2C-4: Academic or other research institutions should support efforts to collect the evidence needed to fill gaps in knowledge about differential outcomes of eviction by race and ethnicity, such as impacts and costs of eviction for BIPOC, and the potential for racial inequities in outcomes due to policy design and implementation in the context of such major stressors as a pandemic. GOAL 3: ASSIST: MAKE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FAIR AND ACCESSIBLE The pandemic has come on the heels of persistent and growing challenges around housing affordability across the United States. Many households faced or were on the verge of housing insecurity before the pandemic. No response to the current crisis can assume that these challenges will disappear after the pandemic is controlled, necessitating a longer-term view focused on building resilience to similar future shocks. Because the housing and financial implications of the pandemic will likely be experienced for some time, Goal 3 encompasses actions to address pandemic-related as well as systemic housing challenges now to support low-income renters and historically underserved populations through the pandemic, during the economic recovery, and in preparation for future hardships. During the pandemic, low-income households have experienced high levels of unemployment, income losses, and a dramatic increase in rental arrears and all other forms of debt (Reed et al., 2021). Despite these realities, housing affordability and inadequate funding and support for housing assistance for eligible households have been critical issues for decades (see, for example, CBPP, 2017; Olsen, 2003; Reina and Landis, 2019; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] et al., 2000; U.S. House of Representatives, 1987). Finding solutions to these intertwined and complex issues exacerbated by the pandemic will require a careful look at the legislation governing housing assistance and preventing discrimination, but also recognition of the disparate impact of the pandemic on BIPOC households, particularly Black and Hispanic renters, who are also more likely to be burdened by housing costs (Airgood-Obrycki et al., 2021). For these communities, a complex interaction among sociocultural, health, and economic impacts, including experiences with racism and discrimination, negatively influences housing stability, a phenomenon amplified by the pandemic (Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, 2020). It is incumbent upon the nation to advance solutions that address these disparities and create more equity in the U.S. housing system. Across all scenarios explored and critical to successfully reducing rental housing instability related to the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, the Strategy Group found that actions to reduce low-income tenants’ rent burden, as well as to provide housing search support, credit counseling, and protection against discrimination, are robust needs for increasing fair access to affordable housing. Strategy 3A: Increase the Number of Housing Choice Vouchers Rationale: Based on the 2018 American Community Survey,43 one in four renter households, including those receiving subsidies, were found to spend more than half of their pretax income on housing expenses (JCHS, 2020). As a result, housing assistance is often seen as one of the most effective social programs for lifting individuals and households out of financial strain. Federal housing voucher programs reduce the rental cost burden by limiting the proportion of income a household pays for rent and utilities. Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) that hold housing costs to no more than 30 percent of the tenant’s income can effectively prevent and end homelessness (Gubits et al., 2018; Wood et al., 2008), and households in places 43 The Strategy Group recognizes that available data from surveys may understate labor earnings and the receipt of cash and in-kind transfers (Meyer and Mittag, 2019). However, a large proportion of renters approved for rental assistance may not be able to use their vouchers for various reasons outlined in this section, which supports the need for housing assistance. 18 Prepublication Copy

that prohibit source-of-income discrimination are more likely to use these vouchers (Cunningham et al., 2018; Tighe et al., 2017). Housing vouchers can also increase both the number and nature of the neighborhoods households can access (Collinson and Ganong, 2018; Reina et al., 2019), and can reduce the need for families to double up in shared housing and suffer other forms of housing instability (Gubits et al., 2018) that can exacerbate the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, housing vouchers have radiating benefits for other aspects of family well-being, including reductions in food insecurity, children’s school absenteeism, psychological distress, substance use, domestic violence, and family separation (Gubits et al., 2018). While the number of renter households qualifying for financial assistance has increased over time, the number receiving any federal housing subsidy has remained essentially unchanged for the past 10 years (JCHS, 2020). As a result, a majority of eligible households do not receive housing assistance, with many studies showing that only roughly one in four such households receive rental subsidies (CBPP, 2017; Collinson et al., 2015; Reina and Landis, 2019). With respect to the current system, members of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission stated in 2013, “We do not believe our nation’s most impoverished families should be subject to a lottery system or spend years on a waiting list to obtain access to federal rental assistance” (Bipartisan Policy Center, 2013, p. 88), a particularly powerful statement today in the context of the pandemic. For the first time in almost 20 years, the 2021 COVID-19 relief and appropriations bill for HUD provided $43 million for new, incremental vouchers44 for approximately 4,300 homeless individuals and families in addition to continued funding for the existing vouchers that serve 2.3 million households45 (Couch, 2020; HUD, 2020a), opening up avenues for immediate relief and potential lasting solutions. Actors: The U.S. Congress and HUD, in partnership with local public housing authorities Action 3A-1: The U.S. Congress and HUD, in partnership with local public housing authorities as administrators, should consider increasing the number of HCVs during the pandemic emergency to guarantee that households with incomes below 50 percent of the area median that do not receive housing assistance from other sources are offered this benefit. Action 3A-2: The U.S Congress and HUD, in partnership with local public housing authorities as administrators, should consider, once the pandemic has been controlled, increasing the number of HCVs permanently to guarantee that households with incomes below 50 percent of the area median are offered this benefit. One approach to long-term commitment would be to consider moving the funding needed for this purpose out of the annual appropriations budget, and instead including it in the mandatory federal budget. Strategy 3B: Provide Housing Search Support for Households Eligible for Housing Vouchers Rationale: Housing voucher programs can be difficult for both tenants and landlords to use. Landlords may choose not to accept housing vouchers because of the administrative burden and costs associated with waiting for inspections (Cunningham et al., 2018), and tenants who qualify for a voucher may not always have the ability to use it. A national study of voucher use rates in 2001 found that an average of 69 percent of such tenants (range 37–100 percent, depending on the location) successfully found leasing units across large metropolitan areas (Finkel and Buron, 2001), a rate lower than that reported in a previous study commissioned by HUD, published in 1993. A more recent national study focused on tenant protection vouchers found that on average, only 48 percent of households offered a voucher were able to use it (Reina and Winter, 2019). 44 New vouchers that are not replacements for other assisted housing. 45 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2021, HR 7616, 116th Cong. (https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Division%20L%20%20-%20THUD%20State ment%20FY211.pdf). Prepublication Copy 19

The reasons for a large range of successful outcomes are varied. For example, households whose head was Black had greater difficulty using their vouchers (Reina and Winter, 2019), confirming previous reports (McKenna and Hills, 1982). Households with larger family size, with children (Finkel and Buron, 2001; Reina and Winter, 2019), or with an elderly head often encountered similar difficulty (Finkel and Buron, 2001; Reina and Winter, 2019). Such discrimination constrains which neighborhoods people can access using their voucher, such that Black voucher households live in neighborhoods with significantly higher poverty rates relative to similar White voucher households (Reina, 2019). In addition, these programs do not always provide additional support for tenants in finding housing that accepts vouchers, leaving tenants to find such housing themselves on the private market (Cunningham et al., 2018). Voucher households that receive counseling and housing-search support are better able to use their vouchers and to find housing in lower-poverty neighborhoods (Bergman et al., 2019). Such support also reduces differences in location outcomes based on household characteristics (Bergman et al., 2019). Local-area fair market rents allow vouchers to pay more in higher-rent areas and less in areas where rent is lower, and increase both the number and nature of the neighborhoods households can access (Collinson and Ganong, 2018; Reina et al., 2019). Landlords are important partners in efforts to address the housing crisis, and increasing their willingness to participate in the voucher program will make more units available for renters with the subsidy. Landlord recruitment and retention programs include a combination of education, insurance, and financial incentives (Local Housing Solutions, n.d.). Public housing authorities can provide education to reduce the stigma of vouchers, training in how to navigate the program’s lease-up and screening requirements, and support for marketing (Local Housing Solutions, n.d.). Public housing authorities or states can provide “insurance” for renting to tenants perceived as higher risk by creating funds for security deposits and compensating landlords for damage to units or unexpected vacancies (Cunningham, 2016). Tax credits and other financial incentives could also increase landlords’ willingness to accept voucher holders (Cunningham, 2016). Actors: The U.S. Congress, HUD, state housing agencies, public health authorities, property owners, and landlord associations Action 3B-1: In addition to increasing the number of HCVs as proposed under Action 3A-2, the U.S. Congress should consider expanding the HCV program to include robust housing counseling for both tenants and landlords aimed at expanding the acceptance of housing vouchers, as well as case management services to participants who desire them. Action 3B-2: HUD, state housing agencies, property owners, and landlord associations should implement HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rents to enhance the use of HCVs throughout metropolitan areas, as opposed to limiting them to lower-income, often segregated, communities. Action 3B-3: Public housing authorities and landlord associations should implement landlord recruitment and retention strategies to increase the number of housing units that accept HCVs by educating landlords on the program, reducing administrative burdens, and/or increasing financial incentives to participate in the program. Strategy 3C: Reduce Discrimination to Protect Tenants Rationale: The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in decisions about whether to lease to particular tenants based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, or familial status, but not source of income (Cunningham et al., 2018). Some states go further to include source of income—the use of HCVs or other income subsidies to pay rent—in their fair housing laws, so that voucher tenants have an increased lease-up success and better access to housing choices in a variety of areas (Bell et al., 2018). Federal law, however, does not prohibit landlords from discriminating against voucher holders, and only 20 Prepublication Copy

one in three voucher households are protected by state fair housing laws (Bell et al., 2018). The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)46 provides potential borrowers with many protections, including protection against discrimination on the basis of source of income in “credit” transactions, defined as “defer[red] payment of debt,” but a rental contract does not constitute a credit agreement under this definition (Prestes, 2000). Thus, renters can be subjected to such discrimination, whereas potential homebuyers applying for a mortgage are granted this protection. The ECOA also gives potential borrowers the right to know the specific reason why their credit application was rejected and the source of that information. But potential renters are covered only with respect to provisions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which has limited reporting requirements. The Fair Housing Act and the ECOA could be amended to provide both mortgage borrowers and rental applicants the same protections against source-of-income discrimination, allowing potential tenants to invoke protections under the Fair Housing Act47 that have largely been unenforceable because of lack of proof (Prestes, 2000). Discrimination in the decision to evict a tenant is equally important. For example, in 2018–2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Hispanic households in Philadelphia were nearly three times and twice as likely, respectively, than White households to face eviction (Goldstein et al., 2021). In gentrifying areas, this disparity is even greater, leading to further declines in racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in these neighborhoods (Goldstein et al., 2021). Studies in other cities have found that the proportion of eviction filings that ultimately result in forced removal is relatively small; however, routine eviction filings can be part of landlords’ rent collection strategy (McCabe and Rosen, 2020; Raymond et al., 2018). In some localities, the laws are such that it is cheaper and easier for landlords to file for eviction to pressure tenants to pay even small amounts of back rent than to use more traditional methods, such as collections. Given that most eviction filings are due to nonpayment of rent, lower-income tenants are most susceptible to such eviction threats48 (Desmond, 2012; Garboden and Rosen, 2019; McCabe and Rosen, 2020; Rosen, 2020). Even if they do not result in forced removal, eviction filings alone can significantly harm tenants because they can mar tenants’ credit or rental records, prevent tenants from renting elsewhere or from accessing public assistance, and create financial distress (McCabe and Rosen, 2020; Raymond et al., 2018). Current fair housing laws do not cover discrimination in evictions per se; however, such claims can be brought under the rubric of disparate impact under certain conditions. The 2013 HUD “disparate impact” implementation established a three-part burden-shifting test to determine whether a housing practice that results in discrimination violates the Fair Housing Act (HUD, 2013). In 2020 HUD initiated a new burden- shifting framework for disparate impact claims, one that generally reduces the burden on parties defending against such claims and increases the burden on plaintiffs. Following a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts,49 the secretary of housing and urban development submitted a new draft rule for review with the Office of Management and Budget on April 12, 2021, which would reinstate the 2013 rule.50 Amendment of the fair housing laws is also needed to expressly cite landlords’ illegal discriminatory actions in evictions. As discussed under strategy 2A, the establishment of a comprehensive, timely, and detailed eviction database would support the crafting of effective legislation allowing for the prosecution of landlords for unlawful evictions; unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAP); and discriminatory and predatory actions using the evictions process to harm tenants. Moreover, as landlords are overwhelmingly more likely than tenants to be represented by legal counsel, tenants are 46 Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1691 et seq. 47 Fair Housing Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. 48 Note that the ratio of filings to eviction judgments varies widely across the country, and citations for local studies are therefore not generalizable. The actions proposed under Goal 2 would provide a national count. 49 Masschusetts Fair Housing Center v. HUD: No. 3:20-cv11765 (D. Mass.). Memorandum and Order Regarding Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction Under 5 U.S.C. § 705 To Postpone The Effective Date of HUD’s Unlawful New Rule, October 25, 2020 (https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/FH-MA-0007-0002.pdf). 50 See https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoReviewSearch, Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Reinstatement of HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard (FR-6251)” submitted April 12, 2021. Prepublication Copy 21

greatly disadvantaged in presenting their cases in the court system without support for legal assistance and local enforcement of protections (Stout Risius Ross, LLC, 2020). Actors: The U.S. Congress, HUD Action 3C-1: The U.S. Congress should consider amending the Fair Housing Act to include discrimination based on source of income as a prohibited factor in rental screening, and the ECOA to include rental agreements as credit transactions. Action 3C-2: The U.S Congress should consider amending the federal fair housing laws to create a path to prosecution for landlords who abuse the eviction process based on source of income and violate these laws, focusing on data integrity for eviction court records and prevention measures. This and other predatory practices should be monitored for serial patterns, investigated, and prosecuted as tenant abuse under the Unfair, Deceptive, and Abusive Practices law or fair housing or fair lending laws as applicable. Action 3C-3: The U.S Congress should consider increasing internal resources available to enforce federal fair housing laws that support localities in providing legal assistance and protection for tenants. Strategy 3D: Establish a Program to Provide Credit Counseling for Tenants Rationale: In addition to the threat of immediate loss of housing, evictions and delinquent rent can impact a tenant’s long-term opportunities to find future housing (Leung et al., 2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and the economy put millions of somewhat resilient households in an unexpectedly precarious position. Credit counseling can help renters in arrears or at risk of becoming delinquent on their rent or utilities to build their financial strength and improve their credit history, thus ameliorating long-term housing vulnerabilities (Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, 2017). Actors: The U.S. Congress, HUD, USDOL, HHS, and USDA, in coordination with credit counseling agencies and state and local agencies that administer low-income assistance programs Action 3D-1: The U.S. Congress and HUD should consider establishing a program under HUD to provide free credit counseling for renters in housing or utility arrears who apply for rental assistance to help them avoid the lasting effects of eviction during the unprecedented period of the pandemic and thereafter. Action 3D-2: HUD, USDOL, HHS, and USDA, in coordination with credit counseling agencies and state and local agencies that administer low-income assistance programs, should integrate the offering of free credit counseling services to those newly unemployed with the process of applying for unemployment insurance benefits or for any low-income assistance program to mitigate the risk of falling into housing or utility arrearages. This action could be taken in conjunction with Action 1B-1, with the service coordinator program identified in Action 3B-1, or separately. GOAL 4: SECURE: PRESERVE, PROVIDE, AND EXPAND SAFE AFFORDABLE HOUSING Affordable housing can be either subsidized by federal, state, and local subsidies and tax incentives or unsubsidized. Federally subsidized housing accounts for 10 percent of the rental housing stock in the United States, or 4.9 million units (Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation and National Low Income Housing Coalition [PAHRC and NLIHC], 2020). Unsubsidized or naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH)51 provides more affordable housing relative to the aggregate of all privately owned subsidized rental properties. An estimated 5.5 million rental housing units across the United States are affordable without public subsidy support (CoStar, 2016). 51 Rental housing that is affordable to people living at or below the area median income without subsidy. 22 Prepublication Copy

The supply of affordable housing is inadequate in most localities and extremely limited in many others (Aurand et al., 2020), and low-income renters must compete with higher-income renters for the limited number of affordable units. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “only 36 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 renter households with extremely low incomes” (Aurand et al., 2020, p. 8). Over the period 1990–2017, the proportion of low-cost housing units out of the total number of units declined in every state. While the severity of the gap between the supply of and demand for available units varies from state to state, no state has a sufficient supply of affordable units (La Jeunesse et al., 2019). To meet the current shortfall nationwide, the United States would need 7 million additional units that are both affordable and available (Benfer et al., 2020). An analysis of the American Community Survey found that the number of low-cost rental units decreased in all eight southeastern cities examined from 2006 to 2014 (Immergluck et al., 2016).52 These losses were concentrated disproportionately in a small number of census tracts. The gaps in the affordable housing supply have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic because of budget shortfalls for local and state government programs and downturns in the construction of new affordable housing due to financing issues and material delays (see Sisson, 2020). Nationally, 33 percent of affordable federally subsidized units are at risk of conversion to market rate as contracts keeping owners in affordability programs expire and in some cases are not renewable (Jordan and Poethig, 2015). Particularly when combined with other factors, such as highly desirable neighborhood locations and for-profit ownership, these exit risks can be significant (PAHRC and NLIHC, 2020). It is much less costly to preserve existing affordable units than to build new ones, and preservation can also yield social and environmental benefits compared with new development (PAHRC and NLIHC, 2020). While Goals 1 and 2 entail short-term solutions to prevent evictions during the pandemic, this goal focuses on increasing the supply of affordable housing to provide long-term systemic and sustainable change following the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the next crisis. This could be achieved through three complementary sets of actions detailed below: (1) preserve the existing stock of affordable housing, including both subsidized and unsubsidized units; (2) produce more affordable housing for renters at different income levels; and (3) reform policies that impede the preservation and development of affordable housing. All four scenarios examined by the Strategy Group highlight the costs and risks associated with an ongoing lack of safe affordable rental housing, ranging from housing instability to health, human dignity, and social and economic harms. The fallout along these lines from the COVID-19 crisis has been far greater than it would have been with a larger stock of affordable rental housing; therefore, increasing the stock is important for boosting resilience in the face of future crises. Thus, the Strategy Group prioritized the following actions as adaptive and resilient means of preserving, providing, and expanding quality affordable housing in the medium and long terms. Strategy 4A: Preserve the Existing Stock of Affordable Housing for Renters, Including Both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Units Rationale: Preservation is critical to maintaining existing affordable housing stock. Effective subsidized preservation programs include the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME),53 the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF),54 and the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, and the Public Housing Capital Fund.55 The LIHTC and HOME are the largest federally funded subsidy programs providing resources to preserve existing affordable rental housing stock in need of capital investment (Scally et al., 2018). 52 The eight cities were Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, and Tampa. 53 See https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/home. 54 See https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/htf/about; https://nlihc.org/explore-issues/projects-campaigns/ national-housing-trust-fund. 55 See https://www.hud.gov/hudprograms/phcapfund. Prepublication Copy 23

The LIHTC program is the nation’s longest-running federal multifamily housing program and is administered by state housing agencies, whose housing priorities are outlined in their Qualified Allocation Plans. The LIHTC program provides federal tax credits for construction or rehabilitation of 100,000 affordable housing units each year (Fischer, 2018). Despite some improvements, however, the LIHTC has been criticized for not meeting its potential to help lower-income renters access high-opportunity neighborhoods and for failing to reach the lowest-income households with the greatest need (Fischer, 2018). To help fill this gap, the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Improvement Act, introduced on April 15, 2021,56 would revise the provisions of the LIHTC and increase the supply of affordable rental housing by more than 550,000 units over 10 years. The bill would expand the LIHTC by 50 percent and increase existing incentives for developers to build affordable rental units. In addition, it would increase the number of housing credits that developments serving extremely low-income tenants receive. HUD’s HOME and HTF programs supplement LIHTC-funded projects and help reach the lowest- income renters through block grant funds (Scally et al., 2018). HOME provides at least $3 million annually in flexible block grant funding, while HTF provides grants for preservation or production of affordable housing, with a minimum affordability period of 30 years (Scally et al., 2018).57 The RAD program58 enables public housing properties to shift to more sustainable Section 8 Project-Based Voucher (PBV) and Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) platforms. These project- based Section 8 programs, such as the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), benefit from greater private- sector involvement and, importantly, can leverage private financing for modernization since much of the public housing inventory needs extensive rehabilitation (Stout et al., 2019). Successful strategies for the preservation of unsubsidized housing include programs that equip tenants and nonprofit housing organizations to own and govern their properties cooperatively; examples include Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) and Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) policies,59 NOAH Impact Funds60 that incentivize socially motivated investment to prevent loss of affordable housing stock, and public–private acquisition fund programs (Kende, 2017). Other effective preservation strategies include programs that incentivize owners to sell their homes to mission-driven nonprofit community-based organizations that can ensure long-term affordability (Bratt et al., 2006).61 Such nonprofits can prevent “predatory equity,” whereby buyers purchase multifamily properties with cash, resulting in the loss of naturally occurring affordable housing stock. There is also considerable private capital interest in investing in affordable and NOAH properties. It is important for the public sector to provide incentives to private capital to preserve existing affordable stock, as well as to develop new affordable projects. Actors: The U.S. Congress, HUD, federal policy makers, state and local housing finance agencies and public housing authorities, rental management companies, and housing-related community investment organizations and partnerships Action 4A-1: The U.S. Congress should consider extending and improving the LIHTC program to ensure that LIHTC units are prioritized and subsidized for the lowest-income individuals and families. This would increase incentives for developers to make housing affordable for extremely low-income renters (<30 percent of the area median income) and incentivize affordable housing development in tribal and rural communities (NLIHC, 2019). Such tax credits could be financed by Government Sponsored Enterprise 56 See https://www.ncsha.org/wp-content/uploads/OTT21288.pdf. 57 See https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/htf/about. 58 See https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/rad. 59 See https://allincities.org/toolkit/tenant-community-opportunity-to-purchase. 60 See https://gmhf.com/finance/noah-impact-fund. 61 E.g., such organizations as Preservations of Affordable Housing (POAH), the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) network, Bridge Housing, Volunteers of America, and other nonprofit developers and owners. 24 Prepublication Copy

(GSE)62 purchases. Absent market incentives for GSEs to invest in these credits under conservatorship, they should be encouraged to do so by the Federal Housing Finance Agency under the direction of the Department of Treasury. Action 4A-2: Federal policy makers could ensure that the LIHTC expands recapitalization and preservation of existing affordable housing properties nearing the end of their original compliance periods. Action 4A-3: State governments should consider prioritizing preservation in LIHTC Qualified Allocation Plans. Action 4A-4: The U.S. Congress should consider increasing funding for the National Housing Trust Fund that supports low-income residents. Action 4A-5: HUD should consider expanding the RAD program to allow more public housing properties to shift to more sustainable Section 8 PBV and PBRA platforms and ensure that RAD does not displace families. In addition, housing subsidies should be provided to incentivize the renovations needed to meet the backlog of public housing maintenance and repairs so as to ensure that affordable housing is fully functional and safe. Action 4A-6: State and local housing authorities should incentivize rental management companies to invest private capital in preserving LIHTC, HAP Section 8, and NOAH properties. Specific strategies these companies should employ are ● converting non–rent-regulated NOAH properties to rent-restricted properties in conjunction with public incentives, for example, tax abatements, soft money loans, and/or public grants in exchange for renovating and preserving the affordability of NOAH properties; ● maintaining long-term HAP Section 8 contracts to ensure long-term affordability through the HUD Mark-to-Market process to increase Section 8 market rent reimbursements to the prevailing market rates; and ● making investments to improve long-term property energy efficiency in order to lower the utility costs of affordable residences, and seeking out rebates from utility companies to offset the capital expenditure on energy enhancements. Action 4A-7: Local governments, in partnership with public housing authorities and nonprofit housing organizations, should identify at-risk properties and provide resources for rehabilitating and/or purchasing them, and should consider establishing or expanding such programs as the TOPA and COPA policies and NOAH Impact Funds. Action 4A-8: Local, state, and federal governments, in partnership with philanthropies, should increase funding for housing partnership networks that enable community-oriented financing, scaled for the number of rental units needed, and should support community and nonprofit ownership models that move affordable housing out of the speculative market. Strategy 4B: Expand Programs Supporting the Production of Affordable Housing Rationale: There is a need for expanded financing mechanisms that provide direct funding to empower localities. Federal grant programs for housing are complex, often requiring developers to apply for multiple 62 See https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/gse.html. Prepublication Copy 25

subsidies to build affordable housing (Bach et al., 2007; Mallach, 2017). Programs that support the production of affordable housing are divided among different federal agencies, with some under the auspices of HUD (HOME and the National Housing Trust Fund) and others under the Department of the Treasury (the Community Development Financial Institutions [CDFI] Fund,63 the LIHTC, and the Capital Magnet Fund [CMF]64). These funds all support CDFIs as lenders and for- and nonprofit housing developers in developing and investing in affordable housing, often layered with a federal tax incentive and state and local programs. Established in 2008 under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act,65 the CMF provides competitive grants to CDFIs and nonprofit housing organizations to attract capital for affordable housing. A 2014 interim assessment found that the CMF had successfully increased the number of affordable housing units by almost 7,000 and had leveraged the CMF investment by 12 times in additional public and private capital (U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2014). Actors: The U.S. Congress, HUD, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Action 4B-1: The U.S. Congress, Treasury, and HUD should consider expanding Treasury’s CDFI Fund and HUD’s HOME Investments Partnership program and the National Housing Trust Fund, which support CDFIs and for- and nonprofit housing developers to develop and invest in affordable housing. Action 4B-2: Philanthropies should fund academic or other research institutions to study the CMF in order to understand its impacts. Action 4B-3: In partnership with community investment organizations, HUD should consider initiating programs to close credit gaps and create financial incentives for developers to build or rehabilitate affordable housing. Strategy 4C: Reduce Exclusionary Zoning Practices Rationale: Regulatory barriers, especially exclusionary land-use barriers, can be significant impediments to the development of affordable housing (Stegman, 2019). Such barriers also increase housing prices, which disproportionately impacts the most at-risk populations. These populations, frequently Black and Latinx, are more likely to include low- to moderate-income households, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and children. Recent research suggests that more racially segregated metropolitan regions are showing wider disparities in COVID-19–related morbidity and mortality compared with their less segregated counterparts (Austin, 2020; Barber et al., 2020; Cortright, 2020; Rast et al., 2020; Scott, 2020; Wise, 2020). According to the CDC, racial housing segregation is linked to an increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). While some zoning regulations are necessary to enhance public health and safety and protect vulnerable populations, many— including excessive development fees, exclusionary zoning restrictions (reduced density or multifamily use, height restrictions, single-use zones, prohibition of accessory dwellings), and burdensome permitting processes—can effectively exclude affordable housing development. From its inception, the Fair Housing Act (and subsequent laws reaffirming its principles) has prohibited discrimination in housing-related activities and transactions. This act has also allowed, through the duty to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH), “for meaningful actions to be taken to overcome the legacy of segregation, unequal treatment, and the historical lack of access to opportunity in housing” (HUD, 2015, p. 42272). Pursuant to the AFFH mandate in Section 808(e)(5) of the Fair Housing Act and other legislative enactments, HUD issued the AFFH rule in July 2015. The regulation provides recipients of 63 See https://www.cdfifund.gov. 64 See https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/programs/cmf. 65 See https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/4405/housing-and-economic-recovery-act-of-2008. 26 Prepublication Copy

federal housing and urban development funds and other federal funds (i.e., program participants) with an effective planning approach to aid them in taking “meaningful actions” to overcome historical patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities free from discrimination. In August 2020, HUD replaced the AFFH rule with the Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice rule (HUD, 2020b), effective September 8, 2020, which defined fair housing much more broadly as “affordable, safe, decent, free of unlawful discrimination, and accessible as required under civil rights laws” (p. 47905). Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, this new rule allowed affected municipalities to self- certify compliance, and instead of having to show “meaningful action” to address segregation and other types of disparities, local and state governments must merely show that they took “some active step to promote fair housing” (p. 47902). On April 12, 2021, the secretary of housing and urban development submitted a draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget to reinstate the 2015 AFFH rule.66 Actors: Federal, state, and local governments Action 4C-1: HUD should require that, to receive competitive funding for housing, states and local governments must demonstrate measurable progress toward meeting regional housing needs and distributing affordable housing across a diverse range of communities. Federal oversight of local land-use regulations could be strengthened by increasing reporting requirements for jurisdictions that receive Community Development Block Grants (such as the Yes in My Backyard [YIMBY] Act [Up for Growth, 2020]) and requiring municipalities to reexamine local land-use restrictions when applying for some federal transportation grants (such as the Build More Housing Near Transit Act [Up for Growth, 2019]). Through enabling legislation, states should provide local communities with state regulatory environments that allow them to mandate inclusionary units and/or provide incentives to zone for new multifamily housing development. States should reduce regulatory requirements that increase costs and prevent the development of such housing, and provide property tax exemptions in designated areas for specified time periods for rental or owner-occupied properties (see Whitehead and Williams-Derry, 2014). Action 4C-2: Local governments should create local incentives, combined with inclusionary zoning mandates where possible, to increase the supply of affordable housing through mechanisms including zoning reform, acquisition, and increased production of new affordable housing.67 Action 4C-3: State and local governments should encourage governors, mayors, and city councils to continue to work to eliminate exclusionary land-use regulations, which raise housing costs and restrict access to housing and economic mobility, entrenching existing inequities.68 66 See https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoReviewSearch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing; Restoring Statutory Definitions and Certifications (FR-6249). 67 Inclusionary zoning policies mandate or incentivize that new or renovated developments set aside a small percentage of the units for low-income residents at below-market rates. Frequently these programs have the additional benefit of creating affordable housing that is dispersed throughout a jurisdiction and in areas with high neighborhood opportunity. To make inclusionary zoning effective policy, such policies are frequently combined with density bonuses and refinements to allow for the seamless blending of inclusionary units into development. Additionally, the density bonuses address the potential issue of the mandate for inclusionary housing being an uncompensated taking. These strategies are supported by HUD research and policy recommendations concerning regulatory barriers to affordable housing over many years (HUD, 2021; see also https://www.huduser.gov/portal/taxonomy/term/42). “Acquisition” refers to the purchase of existing low-cost housing units to be added to the long-term affordable housing stock. “Zoning reform” refers to reducing regulatory barriers, especially such exclusionary land-use barriers as regulations barring high-density housing. Zoning reform to enable higher-density housing would facilitate acquisition. 68 See the strategy employed in Massachusetts (Chapter 40B, 40R) (Cowan, 2006; Karki, 2015). Recent research suggests that Chapter 40B has effectively boosted the supply of affordable housing and overcome local exclusionary barriers in the jurisdictions most resistant to affordable housing development in Massachusetts (Fisher and Marantz, 2015; Marantz and Zheng, 2020; Reid et al., 2017). Prepublication Copy 27

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As the federal moratorium on rental eviction is set to expire on July 31st, 2021, actionable guidance is urgently needed on how to ensure that renters can stay in their homes and housing aid reaches the communities that need it most. This report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that the Executive Office of the President of the United States should consider establishing a task force to prevent rental evictions and mitigate housing instability caused by the pandemic. Rental Eviction and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Averting a Looming Crisis recommends actions to be taken both urgently and over the next three years aimed at addressing the immediate crisis as well as long-standing needs related to housing choice, affordability, and security across the United States. These include: building on existing social programs that support those struggling with poverty and housing instability; efficiently channeling emergency relief to renters and landlords; increasing the availability of housing choice vouchers; reforming unemployment insurance; and reducing discriminatory practices and systemic inequities.

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