This document reflects a series of meetings hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Community Development unit in collaboration with other organizations on the looming housing and commercial property crisis.* It is designed to facilitate further discussion to help remedy this critical issue. As this paper was being finalized, Congress was voting to approve a second stimulus plan that included extending the federal eviction moratorium to January 31, 2021. The perspectives herein reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System.

SGR's Roger Maldonado participated in these discussions with the key personnel from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Key Takeaways

1. Rent burdens, limited affordable housing options, and evictions are issues that plagued significant shares of the population before the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly communities of color and low-income populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, requiring immediate solutions beyond the extension of the national eviction moratorium.
2. While clear long-term housing affordability problems exist, we cite acute issues related to this pandemic and the accompanying recession. These new challenges, which require an alternate set of solutions, should be addressed in the near-term to mitigate an evictions crisis coupled with a crisis facing commercial and residential landlords.
3. The private sector, public sector, and philanthropy can play key roles in mitigating crises related to affordable housing, evictions, and household financial stability, although only the federal government can provide resources commensurate with needs. These opportunities include various forgivable loan programs, federal assistance, and philanthropic grants.
4. A racial equity lens must be central to the design of these programs, and engaging key validators in the design and implementation of policies can help to ensure that the most vulnerable populations are reached.

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