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Hotel housing for homeless teaches an important lesson for future

In March of 2020, the United States issued an executive order enabling funds from FEMA’s Public Assistance program to be used to cover 75% of costs related to non-congregate sheltering for individuals experiencing homelessness. In New Haven, this enabled the city to contract with two hotels, the Village Suites and the La Quinta Inn and Suites, to house individuals residing in congregate shelters or experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Source: CT Mirror
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    Right to counsel is both a housing and public health intervention

    The COVID 19 pandemic exposed and clarified the significance of housing for health and well-being. Recognition that housing instability and homelessness contributed to the spread of COVID 19 spurred urgent and creative action to address symptoms of a longstanding affordable housing crisis including the risk of eviction from rental housing. As one example, here in Connecticut, a statewide moratorium on evictions helped keep renters housed when pandemic related wage loss caused them to fall behind on rent.

    Source: CT Mirror
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    Build public housing in the suburbs to improve population health

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed attention to a pre-existing and severe affordable rental housing crisis throughout the U.S. and here in Connecticut. Prior to the pandemic, there was no state in this country where a full-time minimum wage job was sufficient to affordably rent a one- bedroom apartment. Here in Connecticut, nearly two full-time jobs were needed.

    Source: CT Mirror
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    Staying Home Without a Home: The Housing Crisis and COVID-19

    Since the early days of the United States’ COVID-19 pandemic, state and local officials have raised concerns about the unique challenges that the virus poses to individuals who lack a place to call home. The challenges of “sheltering in place” for those who lack shelter are abundantly clear. Indeed, several cities are reporting high numbers of cases among individuals staying in homeless shelters and on the street. Some local governments have worked to mitigate this problem by finding temporary sources of housing in hotels and other properties.

    Source: Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health
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    Affordable Housing, Rental Assistance, and Population Health

    The US is facing a growing and severe affordable housing crisis. Rents have outstripped wages, and in the vast majority of the country, full-time minimum wage work is insufficient to affordably rent a two-bedroom market-rate apartment. Today, half of low-income households spend more than 50% of their income on housing. This crisis has contributed to poor housing conditions, housing instability, and eviction among low-income households. The shortage of affordable housing is not only a housing problem, it is also a population health problem, given the well-established relationship between housing conditions and health outcomes.

    Source: Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health
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