On December 15th, Capital Public Radio’s “Insights” hosted Assemblymember David Chiu and State Senator Scott Weiner, who discussed the upcoming housing legislation in California.
Referenced was a recent UCLA Study that found that other States that lifted their eviction moratorium too soon, estimated an additional 400k+ new COVID cases and an additional 10k+ deaths. That same study showed that in the early months of the CA eviction moratorium, we were able to prevent 106k cases and save more than 6k lives. When we displace our community members because of their inability to pay for rent, they either find a friend or family member to stay with, or they become homeless. Either scenario makes them much more likely to spread or contract COVID and can lead to devastating consequences.
State Senator Weiner offered an important perspective on how the legislature ended the year with the defeat of so many housing bills. He acknowledged that tensions between the houses were higher than he has ever seen. Additionally, there were so many different factors at play, including COVID, catastrophic wildfires, national politics, etc. Yet, he was optimistic that the ground covered in coalition building and messaging has made housing a focus at the forefront of our California communities.
Perhaps we can build on this momentum and begin to address the millions of houses that are missing to house our Californians.
This is the year for the Mountain Housing Council to align with our State Partners and bring our community to the fight. We see the challenging impacts that lack of housing has on our friends, neighbors, and businesses. Now with COVID, when a house is sold from one of our neighbors, it threatens every aspect of their health and well being.
We encourage anyone interested in housing to join us in the MHC Policy Working Group. Our next meeting is January 15, 2020. Please contact Kristina@ttcf.net for meeting details.