It was inspirational to see neighbors working together to create much needed hand sanitizer. (“It Takes a Village” EW 4/9). As an American neighborhood we can also work together to help millions of people who were having trouble paying rent before the pandemic, often paying more than 50 percent of their income, too often meaning the food or medicine money was gone.
During this pandemic, we have helped homeowners in the relief package, but not renters. It is time for Congress to call for a national moratorium on evictions and pass a $100 billion renters relief fund, a 15 percent increase for SNAP (food stamp benefits), and look at long term solutions like a renter’s refundable tax credit. Our calls, letters and virtual visits to those who represent us can help this to happen, avoiding a new flood of homelessness and a prolonged spread of the coronaviru, when folks have nowhere to shelter in place or wash their hands.