Randy Shaw: Few thought it would take a pandemic to get the United States to finally end its homelessness crisis. Yet there has been more talk in recent weeks about getting people out of encampments and large shelters than ever before.
Randy Shaw: California may be unique in having a $19 billion “Rainy Day” fund that can be used to cover the rent of small businesses.
Randy Shaw: Just as the pandemic exposes the folly of American workers lacking paid sick leave, it also shows that tenants should not lose their homes solely due to their landlord’s whim.
Randy Shaw: Toronto offers a North American case study of what happens when housing policies are not driven by economically self-interested homeowners, which is the case in most U.S. cities.
Randy Shaw: Instead of helping the workers meet housing costs, UCSC fired the workers. A UC system that relies on grad students for much of its teaching decided to leave these vital workers unable to afford housing.
Randy Shaw: Homeowners’ and their allies have cried wolf so effectively about threats of “luxury” housing fueling gentrification that many in the media still promote this false narrative.
Randy Shaw: Letting Trump decide what’s news works for him. It means we hear little about the Trump Administration’s legal efforts to eliminate health care for over 20 million Americans. Or the Supreme Court allowing Trump to shift $2.5 billion in military spending to a border wall.
Randy Shaw: What happens to those who refuse to go to shelters? Will they be criminally prosecuted? If so, get ready for counties to hire a whole lot of new public defenders to represent those charged with such crimes.
Randy Shaw: Among the 45 million Americans holding such debt are the type of infrequent voters who now have a direct financial interest in electing a pro-loan forgiveness President, Senate and Congress.
Randy Shaw: As workers priced out of Santa Monica and desirable LA neighborhoods turned to Culver City, housing prices predictably shot up. And like nearly all high-housing cost cities, it was not “luxury development” that gentrified Culver City.
Randy Shaw: It’s now clear that California’s Democratic leadership paid lip service to the need to build more housing. It utterly failed to pass essential housing production and tenant protection legislation.
Randy Shaw: It is always worth remembering that most renters in the United States suffer from the federal government’s failure to provide rental assistance.
Randy Shaw: It is not too soon for housing advocates to tell their House member and Senators to prioritize a major HUD budget increase. If there is going to be a “Green New Deal” than billions of dollars for green and affordable infill housing must be included.